Physiology of functional and effective networks in epilepsy
Epilepsy is a network phenomenon characterized by atypical activity during seizure both at the level of single neurons and neural populations. The etiology of epilepsy is not completely understood but a common theme among proposed mechanisms is abnormal synchronization between neuronal populations. Recent advances in novel imaging and recording technologies have enabled the inference of comprehensive maps of both the anatomical and physiological inter-relationships between brain regions. Clinical protocols established for diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy utilize both advanced neuroimaging techniques and neurophysiological data. These growing clinical datasets can be further exploited to better understand the complex connectivity patterns in the epileptic brain. In this article, we review results and insights gained from the growing body of research focused on epilepsy from a network perspective. In particular, we put an emphasis on two different notions of network connectivity: functional and effective; and studies investigating these notions in epilepsy are highlighted. We also discuss limitations and opportunities in data collection and analyses that will further our understanding of epileptic networks and the mechanisms of seizures.