The aim of this study is to characterize modules and hubs within the multimodal vestibular system and, particularly, to test the centrality of posterior peri-sylvian regions. Structural connectivity matrices from 50 unrelated healthy right-handed subjects from the Human Connectome Project (HCP) database were analyzed using multishell diffusion-weighted data, probabilistic tractography (constrained spherical-deconvolution informed filtering of tractograms) in combination with subject-specific grey matter parcellations. Network nodes included parcellated regions within the vestibular, pre-motor and navigation system. Module calculation produced two and three modules in the right and left hemisphere, respectively. On the right, regions were grouped into a vestibular and pre-motor module, and into a visual-navigation module. On the left this last module was split into an inferior and superior component. In the thalamus, a region comprising the mediodorsal and anterior complex, and lateral and inferior pulvinar, was included in the ipsilateral navigation module, while the remaining thalamus was clustered with the ipsilateral vestibular pre-motor module. Hubs were located bilaterally in regions encompassing the inferior parietal cortex and the precuneus. This analysis revealed a dorso-lateral path within the multi-modal vestibular system related to vestibular / motor control, and a ventro-medial path related to spatial orientation / navigation. Posterior peri-sylvian regions may represent the main hubs of the whole modular network.
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