Scientific leaders: Dr. Tianzi JIANG (CASIA); Dr. Shan YU (Inria)
LIAMA founding members involved: CASIA (China), Inria (France)
LIAMA associated members involved: UESTC (China), TUE (Netherlands)
Other partners: Brain Institute in the University of Queensland (Austrialia), Juelich Research Center (Germany)
The human brain can be studied as a hierarchy of complex networks on different temporal and spatial scales. On each scale, from gene, protein, synapse, neurons and microcircuits, to areas, pathways and the whole brain, many advances have been made with the development of related techniques. Brain network studies on different temporal and spatial scales are booming. However, such studies have focused on single levels, and can only reflect limited aspects of how the brain is formed and how it works. Therefore, it is increasingly urgent to integrate a variety of techniques, methods and models, and to merge fragmented findings into a uniform research framework or platform. To this end, we have proposed the concept of the brainnetome and the first brainnetome center has been established in China, which was supported by several related programs/projects.
The Brainnetome Center is affiliated with the Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and it is a core department of the institute. The current research interests include basic theories of brainnetome, development of imaging technologies and equipments, brainnetome modeling and simulation and translational medicine.
Currently, the Brainnetome Center has three full professors, one foreign researcher (from INRIA, France), four associate professors and six assistant professors. All three full professors won the funds of "Hundred Talents Program" of CAS, and one of them won National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars of China. In the center, there are also 4 post-doctors and more than 20 graduate students. In addition, the center also has established its International Advisory Committee which consist of the prestigious scientists in this field. We expect other 15-20 faculty members will join this center by the end of 2015.
The Brainnetome Center is keen on collaboration with both domestic and overseas institutions. We have established joint research laboratories separately with the University of Electronic Science and Technology and the Brain Institute in the University of Queensland. Meanwhile, we also have long-term collaboration with INRIA in France and Julich Research Center in Germany.
• Identification of Brain Networks.
One goal of the Brainnetome is to identify brain networks with multimodal neuroimaging techniques, from the finest scale (ultramicrotomy, staining techniques, etc.), to the most macroscopic (functional MRI, diffusion MRI, electroencephalography, etc.); and to explore the relationships among them. In particular, a new human brain atlas beyond the Brodmann’s will be established by combining brain connectivity with cytoarchitecture and other information on the microscale.
• Dynamics and Characteristics of Brain Networks.
The Brainnetome will investigate the dynamics and characteristics of brain networks during development, aging and evolution processes and how they are affected by learning, training, language, cult ure, diseases, stimuli, and so on.
• Network Manifestation of Functions and Malfunctions of the Brain.
One unique characteristic of the Brainnetome is to explore the core brain regions and their connectivity patterns for each cognitive function of the brain and to show how they are affected by neurological and psychiatric diseases, drugs and other stimuli. A specific goal is to explore how symptoms of neurological and psychiatric diseases alter brain networks.
• Genetic Basis of Brain Networks.
The Brainnetome will investigate the effects of genetic variations on the brain networks which are related to behaviors, cognitive functions or cognitive disorders. It will also explore the influence of genetic factors on the developmental processes of specific brain networks through twin and pedigree study. Moreover, it will investigate the biological mechanisms of genes modulating the brain networks based on the Brainnetome of the gene-modified animal model.
• Simulating and Modeling for the Brainnetome.
An 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.
• Tractography-based parcellation of the human left inferior parietal lobule
• Connectivity-Based Parcellation of the Human Posteromedial Cortex
• Diffeomorphism Invariant Riemannian Framework for Ensemble Average Propagator Computing
• Shape-Constrained Multi-Atlas Based Segmentation with Multi-channel Registration
More information, please visit the homepage of Brainnetome Center, www.brainnetome.org.