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Neuroimage. 2013 Oct 15;80:53-61. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.03.023. Epub 2013 Mar 23.

The human connectome: origins and challenges.

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Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA.


The human connectome refers to a map of the brain's structural connections, rendered as a connection matrix or network. This article attempts to trace some of the historical origins of the connectome, in the process clarifying its definition and scope, as well as its putative role in illuminating brain function. Current efforts to map the connectome face a number of significant challenges, including the issue of capturing network connectivity across multiple spatial scales, accounting for individual variability and structural plasticity, as well as clarifying the role of the connectome in shaping brain dynamics. Throughout, the article argues that these challenges require the development of new approaches for the statistical analysis and computational modeling of brain network data, and greater collaboration across disciplinary boundaries, especially with researchers in complex systems and network science.


Brain network; Connectivity; Connectomics; Diffusion imaging; Graph theory; Neuroanatomy

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