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CONNECT - Consortium Of Neuroimagers for the Noninvasive Exploration of Brain Connectivity and Tractography

Coord inated by Tel Aviv University, Israel
7th Framework programme
2009 - 2011
EU contribution of 2.4M€
"Nothing defines the function of a neuron better than it's connections" (Mesulam) In the last two decades impressive advances in understanding brain function with new neuroimaging methods have been made, however to understand brain function, it is also very important to characterise its structure and connections. The recent development of diffusion MR methods that map white matter tissue structure have lead to a renaissance in assessing brain connectivity. In comparison with the pioneering work of the XIX century neuroanatomists the new MR methods enable detection of white matter tracts in vivo. The aim of this proposal is to create atlases of the brains connectivity in different decades of life, to serve as a long-lasting reference for the neuroscience and medical community. Thus, we will be filling a critical need to complete the jigsaw by mapping comprehensively the connections and microstructure of the human brain. Diffusion MRI is the perfect technique to achieve this goal offering uniquely, as it does, myriad quantitative parameters through its very nature as a non-invasive virtual biopsy tool. To reach this goal, synergistic integration of multidisciplinary teams is essential in order to develop, reform and refine, new methods for characterising microstructural and macrostructural connectivity assessments.