NIH Blueprint: The Human Connectome Project
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The Human Connectome Project

Mapping the human brain is one of the great scientific challenges of the 21st century. The Human Connectome Project (HCP) is tackling a key aspect of this challenge by elucidating the neural pathways that underlie brain function and behavior. Deciphering this amazingly complex wiring diagram will reveal much about what makes us uniquely human and what makes every person different from all others.

The consortium led by Washington University, University of Minnesota, and Oxford University (the WU-Minn HCP consortium) is comprehensively mapping human brain circuitry in a target number of 1200 healthy adults using cutting-edge methods of noninvasive neuroimaging. It will yield invaluable information about brain connectivity, its relationship to behavior, and the contributions of genetic and environmental factors to individual differences in brain circuitry and behavior.

Starting with the first quarterly (Q1) data release (March, 2013), HCP datasets are being made freely available to the scientific community. Four imaging modalities are used to acquire data with unprecedented resolution in space and time.  Resting-state functional MRI (rfMRI) and diffusion imaging (dMRI) provide information about brain connectivity. Task-evoked fMRI reveals much about brain function.  Structural MRI captures the shape of the highly convoluted cerebral cortex.  Behavioral data provides the basis for relating brain circuits to individual differences in cognition, perception, and personality.  In addition, 100 participants will be studied using magnetoencephalography and electroencephalography (MEG/EEG).

Successful charting of the human connectome in healthy adults will pave the way for future studies of brain circuitry during development and aging and in numerous brain disorders. In short, it will transform our understanding of the human brain in health and disease.

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Project Spotlight
  • Connectome Workbench 0.85 Update

    April 4 2014: The latest version of Connectome Workbench has been released and is now available for download. Get Workbench

  • Download the MEG Initial Data Release

    The first set of HCP MEG data has been collected and released on ConnectomeDB. Learn More

  • New York Times Author goes inside the HCP scanner

    Author Jim Gorman provides an in-person perspective of how the Human Connectome Project collects data, and new ways of visualizing the result. Read More

  • Areal divisions: Parcellation using resting-state correlations

    A new publication focuses on the pros and cons of using resting-state correlations to define distinct brain areas. Read More

  • Brain on Movies: MEG captures network dynamics

    A new publication asserts that watching a movie changes the brain's resting state network dynamics, but not its network topology. Read More

  • Q3 Data Orders Are Now Shipping

    The Connectome-in-a-Box storefront is now open. Get data for up to 232 subjects on a set of pre-formatted Linux hard drives. Learn More

  • HCP Announces Q3 Data Release

    Q3 imaging and behavioral data has been released, including updated diffusion imaging, individual task analysis, and improved denoising. Register to get access.

  • 2013 Neuroimage Special Issue: Mapping the Connectome

    Eight original manuscripts by the WU-Minn HCP consortium have been published detailing the current state of the project's components. Publications | Citations

  • Mapping Fiber Orientation from Multichannel dMRI

    New SENSE image reconstruction method reduces the noise floor in diffusion tractography. Read More.

  • Important: know the HCP Data Use Terms

    To protect its participants' identities, the HCP restricts access to some of its data. Which set of data use terms is right for your research? Learn More.