The future of the human connectome

D. C. Van Essen, K. Ugurbil

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

143 Scopus citations


The opportunity to explore the human connectome using cutting-edge neuroimaging methods has elicited widespread interest. How far will the field be able to progress in deciphering long-distance connectivity patterns and in relating differences in connectivity to phenotypic characteristics in health and disease? We discuss the daunting nature of this challenge in relation to specific complexities of brain circuitry and known limitations of in vivo imaging methods. We also discuss the excellent prospects for continuing improvements in data acquisition and analysis. Accordingly, we are optimistic that major insights will emerge from human connectomics in the coming decade.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1299-1310
Number of pages12
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 15 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank M. Glasser, S. Curtiss, S. Smith, O. Sporns, D. Feinberg, E. Yacoub, and S. Petersen for comments on the manuscript and our many other colleagues in the WU-Minn HCP consortium for invaluable discussions over the past two years that have helped frame the issues and advance our thinking about the opportunities and challenges in human connectomics. Supported by the Human Connectome Project ( 1U54MH091657-01 ) from the 16 NIH Institutes and Centers that Support the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research, by NIMH grant R01 MH 60974 (DVE) and National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) grant P41 RR008079 (KU).


  • 7 Tesla
  • Brain
  • Connectivity
  • Diffusion imaging
  • FMRI
  • Functional imaging
  • MRI
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Multiband
  • Resting state
  • Tractography
  • Ultrahigh field imaging


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