HCP Development

Participate In The HCP Development Study

Be part of a major new study of brain connections across child development

The Lifespan Human Connectome Project Development (HCP-D) Study will enroll 1,300+ healthy children, adolescents, and young adults (ages 5-21) to discover how different parts of a child’s brain are connected and how these connections (the "connectome") change as the brain develops.

Sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, the HCP-D Study is being conducted by research teams at four universities across the country. You may be eligible to participate.

Why do we need the HCP-D Study?

Childhood and adolescence are times of dramatic physical, emotional, social, and intellectual growth and change. Yet there is much we do not know about how normal development and childhood experiences (learning to read, playing a sport, or interacting socially) shape the brain’s wiring.

Thanks to recent technological advances pioneered by the foundational Human Connectome Project study of healthy young adults, we can now explore, in unprecedented detail, how the brain typically grows and connects during childhood and the transition through puberty to adolescence and young adulthood. Data collected will be shared broadly so that researchers can learn as much as possible from it for years to come.

Characterizing brain development in healthy kids will also allow us to better understand differences that can occur in children with conditions that may affect brain wiring such as early childhood adversity or autism.

Ultimately, the HCP-D Study aims to collect information that parents, educators, and health professionals can use to enhance the well being of our children.

What will study participants do?

All HCP-D Study participants will complete 2 visits, typically scheduled over two days within the same week. During these visits you and your child will be asked to complete interviews and questionnaires.

In addition, your child will be asked to:

  • Play games and puzzles and complete computer tasks
  • Be examined for physical function (walking speed, hearing, vision, etc.)
  • Undergo safe, non-invasive brain imaging
  • Give biosamples (such as saliva)

Some participants in ages associated with the transition to adolescence (ages 9-13) will be asked to return for two additional visits 1.5 years, and then again 3 years after the first visit.

What about costs?

There will be no cost to you for completing the study. You will be compensated with a check for your time and effort and your child will receive gift cards for participating. Parking or mileage will be reimbursed, or we will provide you with a cab to and from the study site.

What is a “Connectome” and why is it important?

A “Connectome” is a mapping of the connections, or wiring, between brain regions that can tell us how the brain works.

As a child develops and experiences the world, connections between regions across the brain are formed and changed.

These connections allow a child to “train their brain” to perform more and more complicated activities, shape their personality and develop their talents.

Join us in making scientific history

Take this opportunity to team up with the world’s leading connectome scientists. Your participation can help uncover how the brain’s wiring changes as children develop and shapes who they are as they grow into adolescence and young adulthood.