THE FUTURE OF NEUROMODULATION
evidence suggests that the brain function arises from the activity of
neural networks on several different scales, and that malfunctions
caused by psychiatric and neurological disorders are due to faulty
connectivity. In order to reveal how the brain works as well as to
understand the pathophysiological mechanism of psychiatric and
neurological disorders, it is necessary to integrate the multi-level
network features inferred by various functional and anatomical brain
imaging technologies at multiple temporal and spatial scales, as well
as the interaction of the individual with social and the
environmental factors. We introduce the concept of brainnetome for
such integration framework. In more detail we define the essential
components of the Brainnetome as follows:
of Brain Networks.
first goal of the Brainnetome is to identify brain networks with
multimodal neuroimaging techniques, from the finest scale
(microtechnique, ultramicrotomy, staining and visualization
techniques), to the most macroscopic (EEG, fMRI, dMRI); and to
explore the relationship among them. In particular, a new human brain
atlas beyond the Broadmann will be established by combining brain
connectivity with cytoarchitecture and other information on the
microscale. This part of the Brainnetome Project is synergic with the
and Characteristics of Brain Networks.
Brainnetome will investigate dynamics and characteristics of brain
networks during development, aging and evolution processes and how
they are affected by learning, training, language, culture, diseases,
stimuli, and so on. This part of the Brainnetome Project is synergic
with the Physiome Project.
Manifestation of Functions and Malfunctions of the Brain.
unique characteristic of the Brainnetome is to explore the core brain
regions and their connectivity patterns for each cognitive function
of the brain and how they are affected by neurological and
psychiatric diseases and drugs and other stimuli. A specific goal is
to explore how symptoms of neurological and psychiatric diseases
alter brain networks.
Basis of Brain Networks.
Brainnetome will investigate the effects of genetic variations on the
brain networks which are related to behaviors, cognitive functions or
cognitive disorders and to establish the relationships between
Genome, Brainnetome and Phenome. It will also explore the influence
of genetic factors on the developmental processes of specific brain
networks through twin and pedigree studies. Moreover, it will
investigate the biological mechanisms of genes modulating the brain
networks based on the Brainnetome of the gene-modified animal models.
and Modeling for the Brainnetome.
essential focus of the Brainnetome is to simulate and model brain
networks with informatics and simulation technologies to understand
the basic organizing principles of the brain, for example, how
neurons are connected in the microscale brain networks
(microcircuits), how microcircuits are arranged to form the mesoscale
brain networks or brain regions, how regions are connected to form
the macroscale brain networks, and how these organizing principles of
the brain derive the cognition and behaviors. To this end, it needs
to develop theory and methodologies and to integrate the existing and
new supercomputing hardware with software and visualization tools.
envisions that the Brainnetome will become an emerging co-frontier of
brain imaging, information technology, neurology and psychiatry. Some
long-standing issues in neuropsychiatry may be solved by combining
Brainnetome with genome. The Brainnetome Project
(www.brainnetome.org) was supported by the Ministry of Science and
Technology of China, the National Nature Science Foundation of China,
and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. It is keen on developing strong
academic, clinical and industrial links, leading to significant
international collaboration as well as the practical applications of
into the Human Connectome has exploded since the original Human
Connectome Project grants were awarded by the NIH in 2011. Over the
next decade, we expect to see dozens of new projects at institutions
around the world researching aspects of how age, growth, disease, and
other factors can affect the ever-changing connections in the human
Connectome Coordination Facility (CCF) has been chartered to help
coordinate these myriad research projects, harmonize their data, and
facilitate the distribution and dissemination of results.
CCF has three primary aims:
a “data acquisition help desk,” to
facilitate in the collection of HCP-style data for optimal
and expand the HCP informatics infrastructure,
to host and distribute connectome data from multiple studies on
ConnectomeDB and Amazon Web Services.
as a “harmonization center,” to
make data from multiple studies and institutions as comparable as