The Human Connectome Projects in Development (HCP-D) and Aging (HCP-A) are two large-scale brain imaging studies that will extend the recently completed HCP Young-Adult (HCP-YA) project to nearly the full lifespan, collecting structural, resting-state fMRI, task-fMRI, diffusion, and perfusion MRI in participants from 5 to 100+ years of age. HCP-D is enrolling 1300+ healthy children, adolescents, and young adults (ages 5-21), and HCP-A is enrolling 1200+ healthy adults (ages 36-100+), with each study collecting longitudinal data in a subset of individuals at particular age ranges. The imaging protocols of the HCP-D and HCP-A studies are very similar, differing primarily in the selection of different task-fMRI paradigms. We strove to harmonize the imaging protocol to the greatest extent feasible with the completed HCP-YA (1200+ participants, aged 22-35), but some imaging-related changes were motivated or necessitated by hardware changes, the need to reduce the total amount of scanning per participant, and/or the additional challenges of working with young and elderly populations. Here, we provide an overview of the common HCP-D/A imaging protocol including data and rationales for protocol decisions and changes relative to HCP-YA. The result will be a large, rich, multi-modal, and freely available set of consistently acquired data for use by the scientific community to investigate and define normative developmental and aging related changes in the healthy human brain.
Recent technological and analytical progress in brain imaging has enabled the examination of brain organization and connectivity at unprecedented levels of detail. The Human Connectome Project in Development (HCP-D) is exploiting these tools to chart developmental changes in brain connectivity. When complete, the HCP-D will comprise approximately ∼1750 open access datasets from 1300 + healthy human participants, ages 5-21 years, acquired at four sites across the USA. The participants are from diverse geographical, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. While most participants are tested once, others take part in a three-wave longitudinal component focused on the pubertal period (ages 9-17 years). Brain imaging sessions are acquired on a 3 T Siemens Prisma platform and include structural, functional (resting state and task-based), diffusion, and perfusion imaging, physiological monitoring, and a battery of cognitive tasks and self-reports. For minors, parents additionally complete a battery of instruments to characterize cognitive and emotional development, and environmental variables relevant to development. Participants provide biological samples of blood, saliva, and hair, enabling assays of pubertal hormones, health markers, and banked DNA samples. This paper outlines the overarching aims of the project, the approach taken to acquire maximally informative data while minimizing participant burden, preliminary analyses, and discussion of the intended uses and limitations of the dataset.