In this chapter, the key neurobiological concepts that underlie the connectome are reviewed and a possible framework of how to integrate microscale and macroscale findings into studies is introduced. This includes an overview of the key historical findings about neuronal morphology, cytoarchitecture, synaptic mechanisms, and network dynamics that provided the neuroscience foundation for the connectome era. This includes description of the characteristics of the different cell types that compose the brain, first from a morphological point of view and then considering the basic electrophysiological mechanisms of signal propagation related to different cell types and neural circuits on the mesoscale. Neuroimaging-based connectomic studies are largely on the macroscale level, and therefore a primer is presented about how the different tissue types and properties observed using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) methods might relate to specific parcellation approaches used to further segment the brain. Lastly, the association between the signal derived from diffusion and functional MRI with the underlying neurobiology is explored.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConnectome Analysis
Subtitle of host publicationCharacterization, Methods, and Analysis
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780323852807
ISBN (Print)9780323852814
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023


  • BOLD
  • Brain cells
  • circuits
  • diffusion
  • synaptic mechanisms


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