NIH Blueprint: The Human Connectome Project

Connectome In A Box

Order Connectome in a Box

The Human Connectome Project has gathered data on young, healthy adult brains at a scale and level of quality never before attempted. For example, we are scanning using accelerated multi-band fMRI techniques that can capture up to 1,200 frames in a single resting-state session.

The resulting dataset is, in a word, gargantuan. Our currently released data is close to eighty-seven terabytes for 1100+ subjects; we are prepared to release data for up to 1,200 subjects before the project is complete. We are committed to data sharing throughout the life of the project, which presents a number of challenges: How can this much data be moved across the world to anyone who wants it? Where will researchers store the data once they have it?

Connectome In A Box is our expedient solution for those that want large portions of the data: a series of hard drives prepopulated with open access image data made available by the HCP. These hard drives can be ordered through the HCP and shipped anywhere in the world.

What's New With The 1200 Subjects Release?

There have been several updates of note in June 2017 for current users of Connectome In A Box. Here are a few key points:

  • Data distributed on the drives as .zip archives per subject/MRI modality/processing level, identical to packages available for download on ConnectomeDB
  • Hard drives will need to be mounted and packages unzipped to external storage, so have your IT support plan for having ~100 TB of local storage space to unzip the entire dataset; see this note for Connectome In A Box purchasers for details
  • Includes unprocessed and processed 3T image data for 1113 subjects
  • Includes newly reprocessed 3T diffusion data for all subjects with diffusion data
  • Image QC measures are now available on ConnectomeDB
  • As with the 900 Subjects data, we are distributing data on 8-TB drives.
  • IRB compliance guidance: All Connectome data administrators should read this notice on data usage and compliance with your institutions restrictions on human subject research

This data release does NOT include the following:

  • MEG session data; these data are available for download on ConnectomeDB or for purchase on a separate hard drive; the contents of this drive are unchanged from the 900 Subjects data release
  • 7T MR session data; we are taking preorders for 7T hard drives to be available at a later date (How do preorders work?)
  • 3T Retest data for 45 subjects who are part of the S1200 dataset; these can be downloaded from ConnectomeDB
  • Group data; Extensively processed group data is available on the S1200 project page, click "Open Dataset" in ConnectomeDB
  • Individual subject behavioral data; these can be downloaded as .csv spreadsheets from ConnectomeDB

MEG Subjects Data Release: Now Available

We have released a dataset of all MEG and MR data for the 95 subjects who have MEG data. This data is available for purchase now.

Before you begin to use HCP Data, please review the set of available HCP Data Use Terms, and follow the steps to accept the terms that apply to your research.

What is Connectome in a Box?

When can I expect shipment?

We process orders in the order that they are received. Most standard orders will ship within 30 days of their initial order. However, a high order volume and low drive inventory may affect this turnaround time. We will display current inventory levels and order volume during the order process, prior to payment.

It's free, right?

Unfortunately, no. Researchers are required to pay for the drive as well as shipping and processing costs.  The HCP makes no profit from the sales of Connectome data.  We have worked to minimize the cost to the research community and will adjust pricing as market rates drop for high capacity drives.  Currently, the total cost to investigators for each drive of data is approximately $200, including shipping costs. (Non-US customers can expect to pay more.)

What if I want to "try before I buy"?

We highly recommend interested HCP data users visit ConnectomeDB and download packages of data from one of our pre-selected subject groups.

What formats does Connectome in a Box come in? Can I get it formatted for Mac? Linux?

As of July 2013, we are only shipping drives formatted for Linux (EXT3). Mac and Windows users may be able to use workarounds, but these are not guaranteed to work on all versions of these operating systems. Please see this updated note on drive formats for more information.

How do I verify that the data on my drive is complete?

We strongly recommend verifying your data integrity using MD5 checksums that are included with each subject.

Every package file, on the Connectome in a Box drive or in a downloaded set of subject data, contains a series of checksum strings in a series of JSON files. These files are located in a hidden directory named ".xdlm" within each subject folder. (Example: 100307/.xdlm) Each checksum can be checked with md5sum to verify that the contents are the same in your version of the files as they were when they were created.

What if I get a bad hard drive? Can I return it?

Prior to shipping, the accuracy and completeness of the data on each drive is digitally verified.  However, it’s possible that a drive may become defective after shipping.  If your drive stops working within 30 days of receipt, you may ship it back for a replacement at no additional cost.  Please contact for more information.

How does the HCP create the drives?

The HCP informatics team has assembled a high throughput drive duplicator, referred to by its builders as the “duplicatinator.” Once the copies are completed, we use a checksum to verify data integrity.

How do I order?

Go to to get started.