NIH Blueprint: The Human Connectome Project

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, a subset of participants will be studied using magnetoencephalography (MEG).

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
  • 2015 HCP Course Materials Available

    Practical Data and Lecture Slides for the 2015 HCP Course: Exploring the Human Connectome released. Learn More

  • Connectome Workbench 1.1.1 Update

    July 24 2015: Workbench now has an improved GUI, new features, and more powerful set of command tools. What's new? | Get Workbench

  • Netmats Megatrawl Analyses Released

    Explore analyses of relationships between rs-fcMRI and non-imaging measures with new visualization tools on ConnectomeDB. View Data (Login Required)

  • Improved Group Average Dense Connectome Available

    Release of a new 468-subject group average functional connectome, with corrections for the "Ring of Fire" processing phenomenon. Documentation | Download Data (Login Required)

  • HCP Data Now Available on Amazon Web Services

    Image data from the 500 Subject Release is now available for processing via Amazon Web Services. Learn More | Documentation

  • Expanded MEG Data Release

    A new, high-quality set of HCP MEG data has been collected on a total of 67 subjects and released on ConnectomeDB. Learn More

  • Parcellation+Timeseries+Netmats rfMRI Data Release

    Resting-state fMRI analysis including group-ICA parcellations, individual subject node-timeseries and netmats. Documentation | Download.

  • HCP Lifespan Pilot Project Data Release

    A pilot dataset of 25 healthy subjects spanning a range of ages is now available for download on the relaunched ConnectomeDB. Learn More | View Data.

  • MGH Adult Diffusion HCP Dataset added to ConnectomeDB

    With the relaunch of ConnectomeDB to support multiple datasets, we can now offer the MGH Adult Diffusion HCP dataset for download. Learn More | View Data.

  • HCP Announces 500 Subjects Data Release

    Imaging and behavioral data has been released for more than 500 subjects, including several processing updates. Register to get access.

  • 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