The Human Connectome Project intends to map the neural pathways that underlie human brain function. This week NIH has awarded the first $40 million in grants to researchers at Washington University, St. Louis, the University of Minnesota, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)/Harvard University, and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). A summary of the research plan from the project’s website:
A 9-institution consortium led by Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Minnesota received a 5-year grant to enable development and utilization of advanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) methods to chart brain circuitry.
* 1,200 healthy adults (twins and their non-twin siblings) will be scanned on a customized 3T scanner using diffusion imaging, resting-state fMRI, and task-fMRI.
* 200 subjects will also be imaged at ultra-high field strengths (7T and 10.5T).
* 100 subjects will be studied using magnetoencephalography (MEG).
Connectivity patterns revealed by MR imaging of brain structure and function will be combined with behavioral testing and genotyping. Sophisticated data analysis and visualization capabilities will enable extensive data mining of these freely available datasets.
A consortium led by Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of California at Los Angeles received a grant to enable building and refining a next-generation 3T MR scanner that improves the quality and spatial resolution with which brain connectivity data can be acquired at this field strength.
Processed data from the project will become web accessible via a customized Connectome Database Neuroinformatics Platform.
Press release: $40 million awarded to trace human brain’s connections…
Project homepage: The Human Connectome Project…