Multimodal Connectomics in Psychiatry: Bridging Scales From Micro to Macro

Lianne H. Scholtens, Martijn P. van den Heuvel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


The human brain is a highly complex system, with a large variety of microscale cellular morphologies and macroscale global properties. Working at multiple scales, it forms an efficient system for processing and integration of multimodal information. Studies have repeatedly demonstrated strong associations between modalities of both microscales and macroscales of brain organization. These consistent observations point toward potential common organization principles where regions with a microscale architecture supportive of a larger computational load have more and stronger connections in the brain network on the macroscale. Conversely, disruptions observed on one organizational scale could modulate the other. First neuropsychiatric micro-macro comparisons in, among other conditions, Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia, have, for example, shown overlapping alterations across both scales. We give an overview of recent findings on associations between microscale and macroscale organization observed in the healthy brain, followed by a summary of microscale and macroscale findings reported in the context of brain disorders. We conclude with suggestions for future multiscale connectome comparisons linking multiple scales and modalities of organization and suggest how such comparisons could contribute to a more complete fundamental understanding of brain organization and associated disease-related alterations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)767-776
JournalBiological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Cite this