NIH Blueprint: The Human Connectome Project

Using Connectome Workbench

Connectome Workbench is an open source, freely available visualization and discovery tool used to map neuroimaging data, especially data generated by the Human Connectome Project. The distribution includes wb_view, a GUI-based visualiation platform, and wb_command, a command-line program for performing a variety of algorithmic tasks using volume, surface, and grayordinate data. wb_command is necessary for running HCP data processing pipelines.

Workbench version 1.2.2 is available for download for 64-bit Mac OSX, Windows, and Linux: Get Connectome Workbench now.

New features of Workbench v1.2.2


  • Annotations are a powerful new feature for placing text and symbols within wb_view tabs and windows. They enable generation of publication-ready figures without the need for further annotation in a separate application (e.g., Photoshop).
  • Annotation features are extensively documented in the "Guide to WB Annotations"
  • New options for locking the aspect ration for tabs and windows when converting between Tile Tabs and single tile views and when adjusting the wb_view viewport (view window)
  • Improved control over gaps and margins between tabs
  • More flexible control over color bars and associated labels
  • Refinements to scene files, including the option to override the user’s default background/foreground color settings
  • Separate panning and zooming enabled between left and right hemisphere flatmaps
  • Refinements to wb_command:

  • -surface-average now takes per-surface weights, uses much less memory
  • -spec-file-relocate changes the location of a spec file relative to its data files
  • -scene-file-relocate changes the location of a scene file relative to its data files
  • -label-to-volume-mapping – new command, uses ribbon mapping method
  • … plus many refinements to existing commands and also various bug fixes.

Workbench allows you to explore data and activity on the surface, as well as in the volume of the brain. Connectome Workbench works seamlessly with ConnectomeDB to import averaged data from a group of subjects and view that data on a group averaged brain atlas in Workbench. In future versions of the software, users will be able to use Workbench to display and analyze functional task and connectivity, diffusion, and behavioral data from single subjects or groups of subjects defined by a user-initiated search of ConnectomeDB.

Screenshots (click to expand)

Software Plaftorm

The Workbench visualization platform and wb_command utilities are open-source and written in C++ by software developers in the Van Essen Laboratory at Washington University. (License)

Release Dates

Connectome Workbench v1.2.2 update has been released as of July 20, 2016 and is available for MacOSX, Linux, Windows platforms. Also available to use with Workbench are:

  • WB tutorial & user guide and HCP sample data available from ConnectomeDB
  • WB-compatible Group average functional connectivity dataset and dense connectome files available from ConnectomeDB

Source Code

Download the source code for Connectome Workbench from our GitHub repository: