Guest Lecture by Carlos Coronel
Whole-brain models unveil the biophysical principles underlying brain structure, function, and human cognition. These computational models can be used to test mechanistic hypotheses and have been extensively employed to characterize brain dynamics in both health and disease. We developed a novel approach using generative whole-brain semiempirical modeling with source space metaconnectivity, anatomical priors, and a perturbational approach to investigate brain dynamics related to dementia in a sample of underrepresented patients from the Global South. We tested two possible mechanisms ascribed to neurodegeneration to replicate the altered metaconnectivity in dementia: structural connectivity disintegration and E/I balance alterations. As a step forward, we used the same model and mechanisms to generate normative models of healthy brain aging, utilizing EEG source data from participants of both North and South hemispheres. Finally, we employed a semi-empirical whole-brain model to study structural neural plasticity mechanisms associated with video game expertise. We hypothesized that video game expertise is linked to neural plasticity-mediated changes in structural connectivity, manifesting at the meso-scale level and resulting in a more segregated functional network topology. Overall, our work attempts to provide a new agenda for integrating theoretical modeling with practical real-world applications in brain health.