The CONNECT Consortium

CONNECT - Consortium Of Neuroimagers for the Non-invasive Exploration of Brain Connectivity and Tracts - establishes a European Consortium to study the brain's microstructure, tracts and connectivity with diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The project is part of the seventh framework programme of the EU operated under the future and emerging technologies open program.

Structure and function are linked; this wide-spread connection is true in many aspects of nature as well as in the brain. Indeed, one of the basic concepts in neuroscience is the circular relationship between behavioral performance, brain functionality and neuronal micro- and macro-structural architecture (structural connectivity). The field of brain mapping has evolved tremendously since the introduction of non-invasive imaging techniques (i.e. MRI). Functional MRI (fMRI) revolutionized our understanding on the brain regional localization of specific cognitive domains and fine behavioral processes. However, a missing component in non-invasive brain mapping is the assessment of structural connectivity at different spatial scales (micron level to the whole brain) – this is the core of the CONNECT project. more...

This project pulls together the EU’s world-leading diffusion MRI community to focus on the fundamental advances key to the long-term realisation of microstructure and connectivity mapping of the live human brain as well as exploitation of that information by medical and neuroscience researchers.

The consortium was established following the workshop on "brain micro-structure and connectivity" held in the dead-sea, Israel, November 2007. In December 2009, the ICT/Future and Emerging Technologies (FET open) of the EU FP7 funded this consortium project.