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Colored Motifs Reveal Computational Building Blocks in the C. elegans Brain

Qian, Jifeng and Hintze, Arend and Adami, Christoph (2011) Colored Motifs Reveal Computational Building Blocks in the C. elegans Brain. PLoS ONE, 6 (3). Art. No. e17013. ISSN 1932-6203. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20110329-143325274

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Abstract

Background: Complex networks can often be decomposed into less complex sub-networks whose structures can give hints about the functional organization of the network as a whole. However, these structural motifs can only tell one part of the functional story because in this analysis each node and edge is treated on an equal footing. In real networks, two motifs that are topologically identical but whose nodes perform very different functions will play very different roles in the network. Methodology/Principal Findings: Here, we combine structural information derived from the topology of the neuronal network of the nematode C. elegans with information about the biological function of these nodes, thus coloring nodes by function. We discover that particular colorations of motifs are significantly more abundant in the worm brain than expected by chance, and have particular computational functions that emphasize the feed-forward structure of information processing in the network, while evading feedback loops. Interneurons are strongly over-represented among the common motifs, supporting the notion that these motifs process and transduce the information from the sensor neurons towards the muscles. Some of the most common motifs identified in the search for significant colored motifs play a crucial role in the system of neurons controlling the worm's locomotion. Conclusions/Significance: The analysis of complex networks in terms of colored motifs combines two independent data sets to generate insight about these networks that cannot be obtained with either data set alone. The method is general and should allow a decomposition of any complex networks into its functional (rather than topological) motifs as long as both wiring and functional information is available.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0017013 DOIUNSPECIFIED
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Adami, Christoph0000-0002-2915-9504
Additional Information:© 2011 Qian et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Received December 15, 2010; Accepted January 4, 2011; Published March 7, 2011. Editor: Olaf Sporns, Indiana University, United States of America. Funding: This work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation’s Frontiers in Biological Research Grant FIBR-0527023 and NSF’s BEACON Center for Evolution in Action, under contract No. DBI-0939454. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. We would like to thank Jeffrey Edlund and Paul Sternberg for discussions, and two anonymous referees for helpful comments on the manuscript. Author Contributions: Conceived and designed the experiments: CA AH. Performed the experiments: JQ AH. Analyzed the data: JQ AH. Wrote the paper: CA AH JQ.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSFFIBR-0527023
NSFDBI-0939454
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110329-143325274
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20110329-143325274
Official Citation:Qian J, Hintze A, Adami C (2011) Colored Motifs Reveal Computational Building Blocks in the C. elegans Brain. PLoS ONE 6(3): e17013. doi:10.1371/ journal.pone.0017013
Usage Policy:This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
ID Code:23161
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:29 Mar 2011 21:49
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 02:44

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