The Lifespan Human Connectome Project in Development: A large-scale study of brain connectivity development in 5–21 year olds

Leah H. Somerville, Susan Y. Bookheimer, Randy L. Buckner, Gregory C. Burgess, Sandra W. Curtiss, Mirella Dapretto, Jennifer Stine Elam, Michael S. Gaffrey, Michael P. Harms, Cynthia Hodge, Sridhar Kandala, Erik K. Kastman, Thomas E. Nichols, Bradley L. Schlaggar, Stephen M. Smith, Kathleen M. Thomas, Essa Yacoub, David C. Van Essen, Deanna M. Barch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations


Recent technological and analytical progress in brain imaging has enabled the examination of brain organization and connectivity at unprecedented levels of detail. The Human Connectome Project in Development (HCP-D) is exploiting these tools to chart developmental changes in brain connectivity. When complete, the HCP-D will comprise approximately ∼1750 open access datasets from 1300 + healthy human participants, ages 5–21 years, acquired at four sites across the USA. The participants are from diverse geographical, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. While most participants are tested once, others take part in a three-wave longitudinal component focused on the pubertal period (ages 9–17 years). Brain imaging sessions are acquired on a 3 T Siemens Prisma platform and include structural, functional (resting state and task-based), diffusion, and perfusion imaging, physiological monitoring, and a battery of cognitive tasks and self-reports. For minors, parents additionally complete a battery of instruments to characterize cognitive and emotional development, and environmental variables relevant to development. Participants provide biological samples of blood, saliva, and hair, enabling assays of pubertal hormones, health markers, and banked DNA samples. This paper outlines the overarching aims of the project, the approach taken to acquire maximally informative data while minimizing participant burden, preliminary analyses, and discussion of the intended uses and limitations of the dataset.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)456-468
Number of pages13
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • Adolescent
  • Brain
  • Child
  • Connectivity
  • Connectome
  • Development
  • MRI
  • Network
  • Neurodevelopment


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