On the structural connectivity of large-scale models of brain networks at cellular level
The brain’s structural connectivity plays a fundamental role in determining how neuron networks generate, process, and transfer information within and between brain regions. The underlying mechanisms are extremely difficult to study experimentally and, in many cases, large-scale model networks are of great help. However, the implementation of these models relies on experimental findings that are often sparse and limited. Their predicting power ultimately depends on how closely a model’s connectivity represents the real system. Here we argue that the data-driven probabilistic rules, widely used to build neuronal network models, may not be appropriate to represent the dynamics of the corresponding biological system. To solve this problem, we propose to use a new mathematical framework able to use sparse and limited experimental data to quantitatively reproduce the structural connectivity of biological brain networks at cellular level.