The NIH Human Connectome Project is an ambitious effort to map the neural pathways that underlie human brain function. The overarching purpose of the Project is to acquire and share data about the structural and functional connectivity of the human brain. It will greatly advance the capabilities for imaging and analyzing brain connections, resulting in improved sensitivity, resolution, and utility, thereby accelerating progress in the emerging field of human connectomics.
Altogether, the Human Connectome Project will lead to major advances in our understanding of what makes us uniquely human and will set the stage for future studies of abnormal brain circuits in many neurological and psychiatric disorders.
The Blueprint has funded two major cooperative agreements that will take complementary approaches to deciphering the brain's complex wiring diagram. For more information see the NIH press release, "$40 million awarded to trace human brain's connections."
Use the box at the right to search the consortium sites or browse the sites directly using the links below.
The Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of California at Los Angeles consortium has built a next-generation 3T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner that improves the quality and spatial resolution with which brain connectivity data can be acquired. The MGH/UCLA Consortium will scan participants at MGH, and both sites will use advanced software to translate the MRI data into connectomic maps detailing the fibrous connections in the brain. Goals of the project include:
Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Minnesota lead a 10-institution consortium aiming to comprehensively map long-distance brain connections and their variability through cutting-edge neuroimaging of 1,200 healthy adults (twins and their non-twin siblings). Data will be acquired using multiple imaging modalities, including customized 3T and 7T magnetic resonance imaging plus magnetoencephalography. By pairing studies of structural and functional brain connectivity with extensive behavioral and heritability measures, the project will provide freely available data about brain connectivity, its relationship to behavior, and contributions of environmental and genetic factors to individual differences in brain circuitry.