Cognitive Training Reorganizes Network Modularity in Traumatic Brain Injury

Kihwan Han, Sandra B. Chapman, Daniel C. Krawczyk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background. Graph-theoretic approaches are increasingly popular for identifying the patterns of disrupted neural systems after traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, the patterns of neuroplasticity in brain organization after cognitive training in TBI are less well understood. Objective. We identified the patterns of training-induced neuroplasticity of the whole-brain network in TBI, using resting-state functional connectivity and graph theory. Methods. A total of 64 civilians and veterans with TBI were randomized into either a strategy-based cognitive training group (n = 33) or a knowledge-based training group (active control group; n = 31) for 8 weeks. The participants experienced mild to severe TBI without focal damage and persistent cognitive dysfunctions. A subset of participants complained of subclinical but residual psychiatric symptoms. We acquired their resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging before training, immediately posttraining, and 3 months posttraining. From participants’ resting-state networks, we obtained the modularity, participation coefficient, within-module connectivity, global efficiency, and local efficiency over multiple network densities. We next performed longitudinal analyses on those measures corrected for multiple comparisons across network densities using false discovery rate (FDR). Results. Relative to the knowledge-based training group, the strategy-based cognitive training group had reduced modularity and increased participation coefficient, global efficiency, and local efficiency over time (Pnodal <.05; qFDR < 0.05). Brain behavior analysis revealed that the participation coefficient and global efficiency within the strategy-based cognitive training group correlated with trail-making scores in the context of training (Pnodal <.05; qFDR < 0.05). Conclusions. Cognitive training reorganized modular networks in TBI over the whole brain. Graph-theoretic approaches may be useful in identifying a potential brain-based marker of training efficacy in TBI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-38
Number of pages13
JournalNeurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • brain network
  • functional connectivity
  • graph theory
  • intervention
  • neuroplasticity
  • resting-state

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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