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
  • Connectome Workbench 1.2.0 Released

    May 19 2016: Workbench now has powerful new annotation features and refined controls, as well as improvements to WB_command. What's new? | Get Workbench

  • 2016 HCP Course Registration Now Open

    The 2016 offering of "Exploring the Human Connectome" will be presented in Boston in late August. Registration is now open. Register Now

  • 900 Subjects Connectome In A Box Now Available

    The full 64 TB of data available in the 900 subjects data release is now available as a set of Connectome In A Box hard drives. Order Today.

  • HCP Announces 900 Subjects Data Release

    Imaging and behavioral data has been released for more than 900 subjects, including new multimodal registration and 95 MEG datasets. Register to get access.

  • MEGConnectome Pipeline Update

    A new version of the MEGConnectome Pipeline, v3.0, has been released. Learn More

  • 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)

  • 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.

  • 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