Lifespan Developing Human Connectome Project

Study Overview

Few advances in neuroscience could have as much impact as a precise global description of human brain connectivity (connectome) and its variability. Understanding this connectome in detail will provide insights into fundamental neural processes and intractable neuropsychiatric diseases. Currently, the connectome of the mature adult brain is in progress.

The Developing Human Connectome Project (dHCP), led by King’s College London, Imperial College London and Oxford University, aims to make major scientific progress by creating the first 4-dimensional connectome of early life. Our goal is to create a dynamic map of human brain connectivity from 20 to 44 weeks post-conceptional age, which will link together imaging, clinical, behavioural, and genetic information. This unique setting, with imaging and collateral data in an expandable open-source informatics structure, will permit wide use by the scientific community, and to undertake pioneer studies into normal and abnormal development by studying well-phenotyped and genotyped group of infants with specific genetic and environmental risks that could lead to Autistic Spectrum Disorder or Cerebral Palsy.


David Edwards

David Edwards - KCL Principal Investigator

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Jo Hajnal

Jo Hajnal, Ph.D. - KCL Principal Investigator

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Daniel Rueckert

Daniel Rueckert, Ph.D. - ICL Principal Investigator

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Stephen Smith

Stephen Smith, Ph.D. - Oxford Principal Investigator

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Study Protocol Overview

Data Being Collected

Each participant mother is invited to have an antenatal MRI scan in her mid to late pregnancy. Once the baby has been delivered, a second MRI scan is conducted. This study is developing and using novel imaging methods for the acquisition of dMRI and rfMRI, overcoming the serious outstanding challenges in imaging the fetus and newborn by motion-tolerant image acquisition and analysis.

  • Standard HCP Demographic Data
  • Imaging: Structural imaging, structural connectivity data (diffusion MRI) and functional connectivity data (resting-state fMRI)
  • Clinical: Clinical, genetic and neurodevelopment data will be gathered after the birth of each subject

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