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Researchers at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill and the University of Minnesota (UMN) have been awarded a $4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to launch the Baby Connectome Project (BCP), as a component of the Lifespan Human Connectome Project. The BCP aims to provide scientists with unprecedented information about how the human brain develops from birth through early childhood and will uncover factors contributing to healthy brain development.

For the project, researchers at UNC and UMN will perform safe and non-invasive multimodal brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans (including T1- and T2-weighted structural MRI, DTI and rsfMRI) of 500 typically developing children, ages 0-5 years, over the course of four years.


All of the data collected in BCP will be shared with the broader scientific community to accelerate discovery.

For more information about BCP, please contact Dr. Weili Lin at, the contact PI of BCP.
For more information on infant brain analysis, please contact Dr. Dinggang Shen at

The following video (made by Dr. Gang Li <>) shows how the brain develops captured in MRI from birth to 5 years of age of one participant from the pilot study for BCP. The left and center images are structural MR images, and the right image shows outer cortical surfaces colored by cortical thickness.

The following video (made by Dr. Gang Li <>) shows a 3D version of the above movie. From left to right are T1 MRIs, cortical surfaces with parcellation, and cortical surfaces colored by cortical thickness.