David C. Van Essen, PhD

Alumni Endowed Professor

Neurosciences Program

  • 314-362-7043

  • 314-362-3465

  • 314-747-3436

  • 203 East McDonnell Research Building

  • vanessen@wustl.edu

  • http://brainvis.wustl.edu/

  • neurobiology, vision, cerebral cortex, brain mapping

  • Cerebral cortex in humans and nonhuman primates: structure, function, connectivity, development, and evolution

Research Abstract:

The Van Essen lab uses neuroimaging approaches combined with novel methods of computerized brain mapping and neuroinformatics to explore the functional organization, connectivity, development, and evolution of cerebral cortex in humans and nonhuman primates. The Human Connectome Project (HCP; http://www.humanconnectome.org/) involves a large-scale collaborative effort to chart long-distance connectivity and its variability in healthy adult humans. Our contribution to the HCP includes the development and application of analysis methods for characterizing brain connectivity, and the development of a user-friendly platform for data mining of the HCP datasets that will be made freely available to the neuroscience community. Our studies of cortical development involve a collaborative effort with pediatric neurologists (Drs. Terrie Inder and Jeff Neil) to characterize normal and abnormal patterns of cortical folding in preterm infants. We also have characterized abnormalities in cortical folding in a variety of brain disorders, including Williams Syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, and ADHD. Our interests in evolution focus on comparisons of cortical organization in monkeys, apes, and humans, using surface-based atlases and interspecies surface-based registration. This approach enables objective evaluation of candidate homologies across species and quantitative assessments of cortical expansion during human evolution. The explosion of information in the neurosciences demands fresh approaches to data sharing and data mining. To this end, we have established the SumsDB database (http://sumsdb.wustl.edu/sums/) as a repository for many types of neuroimaging data. This includes a large and freely accessible library of stereotaxic coordinates, representing summary results from thousands of fMRI, PET, and structural imaging studies.

Selected Publications:

Van Essen DC, Smith S, Barch D, Behrens TEJ, Yacoub E, Ugurbil K (2013) The WU-Minn Human Connectome Project: an Overview. Neuroimage (Special issue on Mapping the Connectome) May 16. doi:pii: S1053-8119(13)00535-1. 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.05.041. [Epub ahead of print].

Glasser MF, Goyal MS, Press TM, Raichle ME, Van Essen DC (2013) Trends and properties of human cerebral cortex: Correleations with cortical myelin content. Neuroimage (Special issue on In Vivo Brodmann Mapping) 2013 Apr 6 [Epub ahead of print] http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/n.neuroimage.2013.03.060

Van Essen DC, Glasser MF, Dierker DL, Harwell J, Coalson T. Parcellations and Hemispheric Asymmetries of Human Cerebral Cortex Analyzed on Surface-Based Atlases. Cereb Cortex 2012 22: 2241-2262. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhr291

Glasser MF, Van Essen DC. Mapping human cortical areas in vivo based on myelin content as revealed by T1- and T2-weighted MRI. J Neurosci. 2011 Aug 10; 31 (32): 11597-616

Yarkoni T, Poldrack RA, Van Essen DC, Wager TD. Cognitive neuroscience 2.0: building a cumulative science of human brain function. Trends Cogn Sci 2010 Nov; 14 (11): 489-96.

Hill J, Inder T, Neil J, Dierker D, Harwell J, Van Essen D. Similar patterns of cortical expansion during human development and evolution. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2010 Jul 20; 107 (29): 13135-40.

Last Updated: 8/22/2013 11:03:39 AM

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