Understanding structural-functional relationships in the human brain: A large-scale network perspective

Zhijiang Wang, Zhengjia Dai, Gaolang Gong, Changsong ZHOU, Yong He*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

166 Citations (Scopus)


Relating the brain's structural connectivity (SC) to its functional connectivity (FC) is a fundamental goal in neuroscience because it is capable of aiding our understanding of how the relatively fixed SC architecture underlies human cognition and diverse behaviors. With the aid of current noninvasive imaging technologies (e.g., structural MRI, diffusion MRI, and functional MRI) and graph theory methods, researchers have modeled the human brain as a complex network of interacting neuronal elements and characterized the underlying structural and functional connectivity patterns that support diverse cognitive functions. Specifically, research has demonstrated a tight SC-FC coupling, not only in interregional connectivity strength but also in network topologic organizations, such as community, rich-club, and motifs. Moreover, this SC-FC coupling exhibits significant changes in normal development and neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and epilepsy. This review summarizes recent progress regarding the SC-FC relationship of the human brain and emphasizes the important role of large-scale brain networks in the understanding of structural-functional associations. Future research directions related to this topic are also proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-305
Number of pages16
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2015

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology

User-Defined Keywords

  • connectome
  • functional connectivity
  • graph theory
  • module
  • rich club
  • structural connectivity


Dive into the research topics of 'Understanding structural-functional relationships in the human brain: A large-scale network perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this