Topological Cluster Analysis Reveals the Systemic Organization of the Caenorhabditis elegans Connectome

Yunkyu Sohn, Myung Kyu Choi, Yong Yeol Ahn, Junho Lee, Jaeseung Jeong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


The modular organization of networks of individual neurons interwoven through synapses has not been fully explored due to the incredible complexity of the connectivity architecture. Here we use the modularity-based community detection method for directed, weighted networks to examine hierarchically organized modules in the complete wiring diagram (connectome) of Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) and to investigate their topological properties. Incorporating bilateral symmetry of the network as an important cue for proper cluster assignment, we identified anatomical clusters in the C. elegans connectome, including a body-spanning cluster, which correspond to experimentally identified functional circuits. Moreover, the hierarchical organization of the five clusters explains the systemic cooperation (e.g., mechanosensation, chemosensation, and navigation) that occurs among the structurally segregated biological circuits to produce higher-order complex behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1001139
JournalPLoS Computational Biology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2011 May
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Ecology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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