The human connectome project (HCP) deals with the mapping of the human brain. It aims to map the connections between neural pathways for understanding human behaviour and brain function. The human brain is a complex organ which needs to be understood for scientific knowledge and welfare.
This project aims to increase the imaging techniques and analyse the brain in a deeper depth. This can ultimately help the scientists in understanding what makes us a human, the unique features of a human, the brain disorders etc. A grant of $40 million was awarded to this project by the National Institutes of Health for creating a map of connections in the human brain.
ADVANTAGES OF HUMAN CONNECTOME PROJECT
It helps in understanding the human brain in more detail and associated human behaviour accordingly. It also aims to analyse brain functions during illness and in health. It also helps in understanding the impact of environment and genes on the individuals in terms of brain mapping and behaviour.
The basic aim of Human Connectome Project is to create a brain map which can explain the anatomical and functional connectivity inside the human brain. This would help in understanding brain disorders like schizophrenia, dyslexia etc and provide treatments for the same. There are various people who face severe brain abnormalities which cannot be resolved with current scientific methods. With Human Connectome Project, the researchers will be able to detect the connections in the brain causing the disorders.
Through brain mapping, the neural networks of a healthy brain will be established. It can be then compared with patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases and find the impact of diseases on the networks. Through Human Connectome Project, scientists will be able to understand brain connectivity in relation to self-control, memory and decision making.
There have been various links between mental disorders and brain connectivity established including- cognitive decline (motor networks and disruption of connectivity); epilepsy (increase or decrease in connectivity); anxiety (change in amygdala and increased connectivity) etc.
TO SUM IT UP
Human Connectome Project has the potential of improving the knowledge about the mind and mental disorders. Connectome basically refers to the interconnected complex network of nerve cells in a human brain. The connections are responsible for generating feelings, behaviours, thought etc. Scientists are researching into their field in order to understand the working of the human mind for understanding human behaviour.
In combination with MRI technology, the images produced are sharper and enhanced. This would enable the researchers to look at the invisible connections between neural networks. When the project will complete, it will bring out a complete revolution in the scientific field. It will unveil the mysteries of the human mind.