Function in the human connectome: Task-fMRI and individual differences in behavior

Deanna M. Barch, Gregory C. Burgess, Michael P. Harms, Steven E. Petersen, Bradley L. Schlaggar, Maurizio Corbetta, Matthew F. Glasser, Sandra Curtiss, Sachin Dixit, Cindy Feldt, Dan Nolan, Edward Bryant, Tucker Hartley, Owen Footer, James M. Bjork, Russ Poldrack, Steve Smith, Heidi Johansen-Berg, Abraham Z. Snyder, David C. Van Essen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

729 Scopus citations


The primary goal of the Human Connectome Project (HCP) is to delineate the typical patterns of structural and functional connectivity in the healthy adult human brain. However, we know that there are important individual differences in such patterns of connectivity, with evidence that this variability is associated with alterations in important cognitive and behavioral variables that affect real world function. The HCP data will be a critical stepping-off point for future studies that will examine how variation in human structural and functional connectivity play a role in adult and pediatric neurological and psychiatric disorders that account for a huge amount of public health resources. Thus, the HCP is collecting behavioral measures of a range of motor, sensory, cognitive and emotional processes that will delineate a core set of functions relevant to understanding the relationship between brain connectivity and human behavior. In addition, the HCP is using task-fMRI (tfMRI) to help delineate the relationships between individual differences in the neurobiological substrates of mental processing and both functional and structural connectivity, as well as to help characterize and validate the connectivity analyses to be conducted on the structural and functional connectivity data. This paper describes the logic and rationale behind the development of the behavioral, individual difference, and tfMRI batteries and provides preliminary data on the patterns of activation associated with each of the fMRI tasks, at both group and individual levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-189
Number of pages21
StatePublished - Oct 15 2013


  • Cognitive
  • Connectivity
  • Emotion
  • Individual differences
  • Personality
  • Sensory and motor function
  • Task-fMRI


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