This proposal aims to support the development of a new "Connectom" diffusion imaging system, designed with advanced gradient technology (300 mT/m gradient set in an advanced 3T instrument), and optimized for the collection of in vivo structural connectivity data from healthy adult humans. Following installation and optimization of this novel system, we will scan normal human subjects, including a number of subjects recruited from the other HCP site, and begin initial development of software to analyze this data and compare, document and disseminate the results obtained against those developed by other connectomics efforts, including the other HCP site. This work will be integral part of the collaborative HCP effort to construct a map of the human connectome that represents the structural and functional connections in vivo within a brain and across individuals. As a result, this work has significant potential to dramatically advance capabilities to measure the human Connectome, by aggressively optimizing non-invasive imaging technology toward Connectome measurements. This effort builds upon existing multidisciplinary collaboration between Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School (MGH) and the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA), and employs a multiple PI leadership approach, providing a rigorous system of leadership, organization, and oversight to this program of bioengineering, optimization and validation that aims to improve the ability of Diffusion Spectrum Imaging (DSI) to map connectivity in the living human brain.
By fostering investigation of human neural connectivity, the new technology developed through this project has potential to improve understanding of the structure and function relationship in the human brain, and therefore, ultimately facilitate advances in the diagnosis and treatment of many psychiatric and neurological diseases.
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