Network physiology reveals relations between network topology and physiological function

Amir Bashan, Ronny P. Bartsch, Jan W. Kantelhardt, Shlomo Havlin, Plamen Ch Ivanov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The human organism is an integrated network where complex physiological systems, each with its own regulatory mechanisms, continuously interact, and where failure of one system can trigger a breakdown of the entire network. Identifying and quantifying dynamical networks of diverse systems with different types of interactions is a challenge. Here we develop a framework to probe interactions among diverse systems, and we identify a physiological network. We find that each physiological state is characterized by a specific network structure, demonstrating a robust interplay between network topology and function. Across physiological states, the network undergoes topological transitions associated with fast reorganization of physiological interactions on time scales of a few minutes, indicating high network flexibility in response to perturbations. The proposed system-wide integrative approach may facilitate the development of a new field, Network Physiology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number702
Pages (from-to)702
JournalNature Communications
StatePublished - 28 Feb 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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