Review

The Human Connectome Project's neuroimaging approach

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Abstract

Noninvasive human neuroimaging has yielded many discoveries about the brain. Numerous methodological advances have also occurred, though inertia has slowed their adoption. This paper presents an integrated approach to data acquisition, analysis and sharing that builds upon recent advances, particularly from the Human Connectome Project (HCP). The 'HCP-style' paradigm has seven core tenets: (i) collect multimodal imaging data from many subjects; (ii) acquire data at high spatial and temporal resolution; (iii) preprocess data to minimize distortions, blurring and temporal artifacts; (iv) represent data using the natural geometry of cortical and subcortical structures; (v) accurately align corresponding brain areas across subjects and studies; (vi) analyze data using neurobiologically accurate brain parcellations; and (vii) share published data via user-friendly databases. We illustrate the HCP-style paradigm using existing HCP data sets and provide guidance for future research. Widespread adoption of this paradigm should accelerate progress in understanding the brain in health and disease.

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Acknowledgements

We thank the other investigators and staff members of the Human Connectome Project consortium for invaluable contributions to data acquisition, analysis and sharing. Additionally, we thank the many colleagues outside the HCP upon whose methodological contributions the paradigm espoused in this paper are also based. We thank S. Danker for assistance in manuscript preparation. Supported in part by the Human Connectome Project, WU-Minn-Ox Consortium (1U54MH091657) funded by the 16 NIH Institutes and Centers that support the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research; the McDonnell Center for Systems Neuroscience at Washington University; and NIH F30 MH097312 (M.F.G.), RO1 MH-60974 (D.C.V.E.), P41 EB015894 (NIBIB; K.U.), Wellcome Trust 098369/Z/12/Z (S.M.S., J.L.R.A., T.E.J.B., M.J., E.C.R., S.N.S.), 5R01EB009352 (D.S.M.), 5P30NS048056 (D.S.M.) and 5R24MH108315 (D.S.M.).

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Neuroscience, Washington University Medical School, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

    • Matthew F Glasser
    • , Timothy S Coalson
    •  & David C Van Essen
  2. FMRIB Centre, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, John Radcliffe Hospital, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

    • Stephen M Smith
    • , Jesper L R Andersson
    • , Timothy E J Behrens
    • , Mark Jenkinson
    •  & Stamatios N Sotiropoulos
  3. Department of Radiology, Washington University Medical School, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

    • Daniel S Marcus
  4. Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR), University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

    • Edward J Auerbach
    • , Steen Moeller
    • , Essa Yacoub
    •  & Kamil Ugurbil
  5. Department of Psychiatry, Washington University Medical School, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

    • Michael P Harms
  6. Department of Computing, Imperial College London, London, UK.

    • Emma C Robinson
  7. 7Translational and Molecular Imaging Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York, USA.

    • Junqian Xu

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Contributions

M.F.G., S.M.S., D.S.M., K.U. and D.C.V.E. framed the issues and generated the initial draft. M.F.G., S.M.S., D.S.M., J.L.R.A., E.J.A., T.E.J.B., T.S.C., M.P.H., M.J., S.M., E.C.R., S.N.S., J.X., E.Y., K.U. and D.C.V.E. contributed novel methods or analyses. M.F.G., S.M.S., D.S.M., T.E.J.B., T.S.C., M.P.H., E.C.R., S.N.S., J.X., E.Y., K.U. and D.C.V.E. wrote the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Matthew F Glasser or David C Van Essen.

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