Departmental Papers (ASC)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version


Publication Source

Personality Neuroscience


Over the past decade, advances in the interdisciplinary field of network science have provided a framework for understanding the intrinsic structure and function of human brain networks. A particularly fruitful area of this work has focused on patterns of functional connectivity derived from noninvasive neuroimaging techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). An important subset of these efforts has bridged the computational approaches of network science with the rich empirical data and biological hypotheses of neuroscience, and this research has begun to identify features of brain networks that explain individual differences in social, emotional, and cognitive functioning. The most common approach estimates connections assuming a single configuration of edges that is stable across the experimental session. In the literature, this is referred to as a static network approach, and researchers measure static brain networks while a subject is either at rest or performing a cognitively demanding task. Research on social and emotional functioning has primarily focused on linking static brain networks with individual differences, but recent advances have extended this work to examine temporal fluctuations in dynamic brain networks. Mounting evidence suggests that both the strength and flexibility of time-evolving brain networks influence individual differences in executive function, attention, working memory, and learning. In this review, we first examine the current evidence for brain networks involved in cognitive functioning. Then we review some preliminary evidence linking static network properties to individual differences in social and emotional functioning. We then discuss the applicability of emerging dynamic network methods for examining individual differences in social and emotional functioning. We close with an outline of important frontiers at the intersection between network science and neuroscience that will enhance our understanding of the neurobiological underpinnings of social behavior.

Copyright/Permission Statement

This article has been accepted for publication in a revised form in Personality Neuroscience. This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. © Cambridge University Press.



Date Posted: 19 June 2018

This document has been peer reviewed.