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I have something like Brodmann Areas in mind, but any complete list of cortex regions would do. I'm primarily interested in human brains here. Ultimately I'd like enough information to be able to build an NxN matrix containing boolean "innervates" entries. Numbers representing an "innervation strength" would be great too.

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is there any reason to believe that such would exist or be interesting (i.e. non-trivial... why do you suspect some regions to not innervate others)? A good place to start is the computational neuroanatomy article – Artem Kaznatcheev Feb 8 '12 at 22:13
I would be shocked to hear that every Brodmann Area innervated every other one. I don't know for sure though. – amcknight Feb 9 '12 at 2:27

Yes-- you may be very interested in the Human Connectome Project (also here), whose goal is to map human brain connectivity.

One of the primary tools used to map functional and anatomical connections is diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Unlike the more often used T2-weighted images, DTI allows researchers to image white matter tracts directly.

The data from the HCP is available for free to researchers, but you need to apply for access. See their website for details.

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Thanks! I am (somewhat) aware of the HPC, but this is way too much detail for my needs. Is there anyone who has taken this data and compiled it into something closer to what I was originally asking for? Maybe I'll need to take a deeper look at the available data. – amcknight Feb 9 '12 at 2:34

You might be very interested in a paper by Felleman and Van Essen (1991). In the paper, they analyze the connections between many cortical areas, and create a database to store the connection values. They also have some interesting things to say about hierarchical connections and cortical layers.


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Currently, no such high-level maps based directly on human cortex exist (as far as I can tell). The closest model organism for which high-level maps exist is the macaque:

  • In 1991, Felleman & Van Essen published the first extensive analysis, which includes a noteworthy connection diagram (see p. 30).

  • In 2010, IBM (Modha & Singh) published what appears to be a complete set of connection diagrams.


  • Felleman, D.J. & Van Essen, D.C. (1991) Distributed Hierarchical Processing in the Primate Cerebral Cortex. Cerebral Cortex 1:1-47. [pdf]
  • Modha, D.S. & Singh, R. (2010) Network architecture of the long-distance pathways in the macaque brain. PNAS 107:13485-13490. [pdf] [supplemental pdf]
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