DOI: 2101.00065Dec 31, 2020Paper

The growing topology of the C. elegans connectome

ArXiv
Alec HelmD. S. Bassett

Abstract

Probing the developing neural circuitry in Caenorhabditis elegans has enhanced our understanding of nervous systems. The C. elegans connectome, like those of other species, is characterized by a rich club of densely connected neurons embedded within a small-world architecture. This organization of neuronal connections, captured by quantitative network statistics, provides insight into the system's capacity to perform integrative computations. Yet these network measures are limited in their ability to detect weakly connected motifs, such as topological cavities, that may support the systems capacity to perform segregated computations. We address this limitation by using persistent homology to track the evolution of topological cavities in the growing C. elegans connectome throughout neural development, and assess the degree to which the growing connectomes topology is resistant to biological noise. We show that the developing connectome topology is both relatively robust to changes in neuron birth times and not captured by similar growth models. Additionally, we quantify the consequence of a neurons specific birth time and ask if this metric tracks other biological properties of neurons. Our results suggest that the connectome...Continue Reading

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