Development of the theory underpinning connectivity

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Because i-CONN aims to use Connectivity Science to understand and manage complex systems by learning from transdisciplinary perspectives, we place strong emphasis on developing the theoretical foundation of connectivity research alongside stakeholders.

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Many scientific questions can be mapped to a comparison of a (rather static) structural network to be compared with a (rather dynamic) functional network, i.e. to understand relationships between structural and functional connectivity. One of the foundations of our ITN is the conviction that the specific questions about relationships between SC and FC can be abstracted, such that a common set of tools can be employed.

WP1 will develop underpinning transdisciplinary theory of Connectivity Science, by exploring relations and dynamics between SC and FC and their wider application – here, the experience of real-world applications by stakeholders (EA, AAISCS and IIASA) is critical.

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Objective 1.1
Will provide theoretical knowledge about structure-function connectivity (SC-FC) relationships in networks (ESR1, 2, 4).

Objective 1.2
Will explore the ranges of validity of SC-FC relationships and reformulate them for usage in the application projects (ESR 3, 4, 6, 8, 13).

Objective 1.3
Will arrive at suitable (minimal) abstractions of specific systems, such that the tools within the common methodology become applicable and results can be compared among the different application projects (ESR 3, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13).

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Whilst key to fulfilling the tasks of WP1, these ESR projects also cross-cut WPs 2 and 3, thus ensuring that methods and applications of Connectivity Science have a firm theoretical foundation, and there is cross-fertilization of ideas and a three-way exchange between theory, methods development and applications. The involvement of the non-academic partners in WP1 will ensure that theoretical developments remain grounded in terms of their real-world applications.

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