10 Citations (Scopus)


Network control theory provides a framework by which neurophysiological dynamics of the brain can be modelled as a function of the structural connectome constructed from diffusion MRI. Average controllability describes the ability of a region to drive the brain to easy-to-reach neurophysiological states whilst modal controllability describes the ability of a region to drive the brain to difficult-to-reach states. In this study, we identify increases in mean average and modal controllability in children with drug-resistant epilepsy compared to healthy controls. Using simulations, we purport that these changes may be a result of increased thalamocortical connectivity. At the node level, we demonstrate decreased modal controllability in the thalamus and posterior cingulate regions. In those undergoing resective surgery, we also demonstrate increased modal controllability of the resected parcels, a finding specific to patients who were rendered seizure free following surgery. Changes in controllability are a manifestation of brain network dysfunction in epilepsy and may be a useful construct to understand the pathophysiology of this archetypical network disease. Understanding the mechanisms underlying these controllability changes may also facilitate the design of network-focussed interventions that seek to normalise network structure and function.

Original languageEnglish
Article number394
Pages (from-to)394
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2022


  • Brain/physiology
  • Child
  • Connectome
  • Drug Resistant Epilepsy/diagnostic imaging
  • Epilepsies, Partial/surgery
  • Epilepsy
  • Humans


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