This is a twenty-year project, and its long-term goal is to create neurobiologically sound developmental curves for the brain to characterize phenomenological changes associated with the onset of varying forms of mental health and learning disorders, as well as to predict the developmental status (i.e., age-expected values) of an individual brain’s structure or function. Beyond neurodevelopment, lifespan perspectives can help reveal commonalities and differences among pathophysiologic processes that manifest similar symptom profiles at different stages in life. From a neurological perspective, brain maturation and aging curves may prove useful for identifying factors that can mitigate neurocognitive decline and potentially identify optimal periods for intervention. We are seeking knowledge that will translate into a better life style and clinical practice.

A brief introduction on Chinese Color Nest Project (OHBM 2021)

CCNP – Pilot

CCNP takes its pilot stage (2013 – 2022) of the first ten-year (see a preprint on PsyArXive). It aims at establishing protocols on the Chinese normative brain development trajectories across the human lifespan. The CCNP pilot comprises three connected components: stdCCNP, devCCNP and ageCCNP.

  • The stdCCNP recruits total 240 adults (20-60 years), and each participant visits three ultra-high field (two 3T and one 7T) MRI scanners located at the CAS Institute of Psychology (GE) and the CAS Institute of Biophysics (Simens), generating 5 scans including two-week test-retest data at the two 3T scanners (see the illustration of its design in below). This component (2016 – 2017) serves resources for standardizing pipelines of data collection, storage and analyses based upon the test-retest reliability and reproducibility across scanners, which will be employed for other two components. This is also called 3R-BRAIN: An open resource for reproducible, replicable and reliable brain research and imaging neuroscience.
  • The devCCNP (2017 – 2022), also called ‘Growing Up in China‘, targets longitudinal data from 480 typically developing kids (see the illustration of its design in below). As a trial sample using the devCCNP design has been tested at Southwest University, which includes 3 waves of neuroimaging data from 192 developing children (6-18 years) across five years (2013 – 2017).
  • The ageCCNP (2017 – 2022) collects a longitudinal dataset from 480 healthy old adults (waiting to get started soon). The age span of the ageCCNP is 60-84 years.

CCNP – Twins Brain

This is the second ten-year phase of the CCNP (2021 – 2030), which is designed for building the normative curves on brain development derived from 6000 pairs of twins across the life span (6 – 85 years).

CCNP – Team

Leadership: Xi-Nian Zuo (Beijing Normal University)

Sites: Beijing Normal University, Southwest University, Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Psychology, Nanjing University, Nankai University, …

Members (the list keeps growing): Ning Yang, Ye He, Zhe Zhang, Hao-Ming Dong, Lei Zhang, Xing-Ting Zhu, Xiao-Hui Hou, Yin-Shan Wang, Quan Zhou, Zhu-Qing Gong, Li-Zhi Cao, Ping Wang, Yi-Wen Zhang, Dan-Yang Sui, Ting Xu, Gao-Xia Wei, Zhi Yang, Lili Jiang, Hui-Jie Li, Ting-Yong Feng, Antao Chen, Jiang Qiu, Xu Chen, Xun Liu, Ke Zhao, Yi Du, Min Bao, Yuan Zhou, Yan Zhuo, Zhentao Zuo

CCNP – Funding Support

  • National Basic Science Data Center `Chinese Data-sharing Warehouse for In-vivo Imaging Brain’ (NBSDC-DB-15)
  • National Key Basic Research and Development (973) Program (2015CB351702)
  • Major Joint Fund for International Cooperation and Exchange of the Natural Science Foundation of China (81220108014)
  • Major Project of National Social Science Foundation of China (14ZDB161, 20&ZD296)
  • Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Key Research Program (KSZD-EW-TZ-002), the China – Netherlands CAS-NWO Programme (153111KYSB20160020)
  • Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission (Z161100002616023, Z171100000117012, Z181100001518003)
  • Key-Area Research and Development Program of Guangdong Province (2019B030335001)
  • Guangxi BaGui Scholarship (201621)
  • Startup Funds for Leading Talents at Beijing Normal University

CCNP – Publications


Yang N, He Y, Zhang Z, Dong HM, Zhang L, et al. (2017) Chinese Color Nest Project: Growing up in China (in Chinese). Chinese Science Bulletin, 62: 3008–3022.

Dong HM, Castellanos FX, Yang N, Zhang Z, Zhou Q, He, Y. et al. (2020) Charting brain growth in tandem with brain templates at school age. Science Bulletin, 65: 1924-1934.

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