The Human Brainnetome Atlas: A New Brain Atlas Based on Connectional Architecture

Cereb Cortex. 2016 Aug;26(8):3508-26. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhw157. Epub 2016 May 26.


The human brain atlases that allow correlating brain anatomy with psychological and cognitive functions are in transition from ex vivo histology-based printed atlases to digital brain maps providing multimodal in vivo information. Many current human brain atlases cover only specific structures, lack fine-grained parcellations, and fail to provide functionally important connectivity information. Using noninvasive multimodal neuroimaging techniques, we designed a connectivity-based parcellation framework that identifies the subdivisions of the entire human brain, revealing the in vivo connectivity architecture. The resulting human Brainnetome Atlas, with 210 cortical and 36 subcortical subregions, provides a fine-grained, cross-validated atlas and contains information on both anatomical and functional connections. Additionally, we further mapped the delineated structures to mental processes by reference to the BrainMap database. It thus provides an objective and stable starting point from which to explore the complex relationships between structure, connectivity, and function, and eventually improves understanding of how the human brain works. The human Brainnetome Atlas will be made freely available for download at, so that whole brain parcellations, connections, and functional data will be readily available for researchers to use in their investigations into healthy and pathological states.

Keywords: brain atlas; connectivity-based parcellation; diffusion tensor imaging; functional characterization; resting-state functional connectivity.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Atlases as Topic*
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Connectome*
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Multimodal Imaging
  • Rest
  • User-Computer Interface
  • Young Adult