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The Human Connectome Project: Progress and Perspectives

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Recent advances in noninvasive neuroimaging have set the stage for the systematic exploration of human brain circuits in health and disease. One such effort is the Human Connectome Project (HCP), which will characterize brain circuitry and its variability in healthy adults. This talk will review recent progress by a consortium of investigators at Washington University, University of Minnesota, University of Oxford, and 7 other institutions, who are engaged in a 5-year project to characterize the human connectome in 1,200 individuals (twins and their non-twin siblings). Information about structural and functional connectivity is being acquired using diffusion MRI and resting-state fMRI, respectively. Additional modalities include task-evoked fMRI and MEG /EEG, plus extensive behavioral testing and genotyping. Advanced visualization and analysis methods enable characterization of brain circuits in individuals and group averages at high spatial resolution and at the level of functionally distinct brain parcels. Comparisons across subjects will reveal aspects of brain circuitry which are related to particular behavioral capacities and which are heritable or related to specific genetic variants. Data from the HCP will be made freely available to the neuroscience community via a user-friendly informatics platform. Altogether, the HCP will provide invaluable information about the healthy human brain and its variability and will set the stage for characterizing abnormal brain connectivity in a variety of brain disorders and diseases.

This talk is part of the Brain Mapping Unit Networks Meeting and the Cambridge Connectome Consortium series.

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