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.
Sept 10 2014: Visualize HCP data on your desktop! Workbench now has an improved GUI and more powerful set of command tools. Get Workbench
Imaging and behavioral data has been released for more than 500 subjects, including several processing updates. Register to get access.
What to do if you see an unusual ring of lower or negative correlation in seed-based group connectivity data. Documentation.
The first set of HCP MEG data has been collected and released on ConnectomeDB. Learn More
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
A new publication focuses on the pros and cons of using resting-state correlations to define distinct brain areas. Read More
A new publication asserts that watching a movie changes the brain's resting state network dynamics, but not its network topology. Read More
New SENSE image reconstruction method reduces the noise floor in diffusion tractography. Read More.