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A Graph-Theoretic Approach to Brain Networks Associated with Swallowing

Luan, Bo (2013) A Graph-Theoretic Approach to Brain Networks Associated with Swallowing. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The functional connectivity between brain regions during swallowing is still not well understood. Understanding these complex interactions is of a great interest from scientific and clinical perspectives. In this study, we utilize functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate brain functional networks during voluntary saliva swallowing in twenty two adult healthy subjects (all females, 23.1 ± 1.52 years of age). To construct these functional connections, we compute mean partial correlation matrices over ninety brain regions for each participant. Two regions are considered functionally connected if they showed statistically significant correlations. These correlation matrices are then analyzed using graph-theoretical approaches. In particular, we consider several network measures for the whole brain and swallowing-related brain regions. The results have shown that significant pairwise functional connections are mostly either local and intra-hemispheric or symmetrically inter-hemispheric. Furthermore, we have shown that the human brain functional network had robust small-world properties, which support efficient parallel information transfer at a relatively low cost. Swallowing related brain regions also had higher values for some of the network measures in comparison when these measures were calculated for the whole brain. Our results have demonstrated the basic network properties of the human brain compatible with previous functional network studies, but also showed unique connections in some regions during swallowing. This leads us to believe that graph-theoretical approaches are a valid tool for the analysis of the swallowing functional connectivity.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Luan, Bobol12@Pitt.eduBOL12
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairSejdić, Ervinesejdic@pitt.eduESEJDIC
Committee MemberLi, Ching-Chungccl@pitt.eduCCL
Committee MemberMao, Zhi-Hongzhm4@pitt.eduZHM4
Date: 28 June 2013
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 29 March 2013
Approval Date: 28 June 2013
Submission Date: 1 April 2013
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 52
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Electrical Engineering
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: swallowing, fMRI, brain networks, functional connectivity, graph theory
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2013 20:50
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2018 05:15

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  • A Graph-Theoretic Approach to Brain Networks Associated with Swallowing. (deposited 28 Jun 2013 20:50) [Currently Displayed]


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