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Exploring topological properties of human brain network has become an exciting topic in neuroscience research. Large-scale structural and functional brain networks both exhibit a small-world topology, which is evidence for global and local parallel information processing. Meanwhile, resting state networks (RSNs) underlying specific biological functions have provided insights into how intrinsic functional architecture influences cognitive and perceptual information processing. However, topological properties of single RSNs remain poorly understood. Here, we have two hypotheses: i) each RSN also has optimized small-world architecture; ii) topological properties of RSNs related to perceptual and higher cognitive processes are different. To test these hypotheses, we investigated the topological properties of the default-mode, dorsal attention, central-executive, somato-motor, visual and auditory networks derived from resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We found small-world topology in each RSN. Furthermore, small-world properties of cognitive networks were higher than those of perceptual networks. Our findings are the first to demonstrate a topological fractionation between perceptual and higher cognitive networks. Our approach may be useful for clinical research, especially for diseases that show selective abnormal connectivity in specific brain networks.

Original publication




Journal article


PLoS One

Publication Date





Adult, Brain, Cluster Analysis, Cognition, Female, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Nerve Net, Perception, Rest, Time Factors, Young Adult