Mapping neurons human Brain

Video Game Helps Science

EyeWire is a game to map the brain in collab with Seung Lab at Princeton. Anyone can play and you need no scientific background — over 200, 000 people from 145 countries already do. Together we are mapping the 3D structure of neurons; advancing our quest to understand ourselves.

By joining EyeWire, you can help map the connectome, starting with connections between retinal neurons. EyeWire gameplay advances neuroscience by helping researchers discover how neurons connect and network to process information. You also help develop advanced artificial intelligence and computational technologies for mapping the connectome.

How it Works

In EyeWire, players are challenged to map branches of a neuron from one side of a cube to the other. Think of it as a 3D puzzle. Players scroll through the cube (measuring about 4.5 microns per side or ~10x smaller than the average width of a human hair) and reconstruct neurons in volumetric segments with the help of an artificial intelligence algorithm developed at Seung Lab.

EyeWire holds regular competitions and a weekly “happy hour” on Friday from 2 to 4 pm EST. During challenges, players compete for bonuses, profile icons, unique chat colors and even neuron naming rights. In-game trivia occasionally takes place through chat. Players level up in EyeWire by beating the Starburst Challenge, unlocking the right to map difficult starburst neurons and earn double points. Advanced players participate in Hunts, where they scour completed cells looking for mergers or mistake branches that need to be scythed away by an ominous, in-game overlord character known as the GrimReaper. If a player finds enough, she is promoted to Scout and eventually many attain EyeWire’s highest ranking, Order of the Scythe.

eyewire, game to map the brain, neuroscience, gaming, citizen science, neurons, neuroscience, brainSebastian Seung’s TEDTalk

In The News

How thousands of online gamers teamed up to help us understand the brain: — The NPR Science Desk (@nprscience)

EyeWire Video Gamers Help Untangle the Retina’s Space-Time Secrets — NBC News Science (@NBCNewsScience)

Credits

Founder and Principal Investigator: Sebastian Seung

Full Stack Developers: William Silversmith, Chris Jordan

Back End Developers: Shang Mu

Algorithms, AI and data structures: Aleks Zlateski, Kisuk Lee

edX Fellowship: Claire O’Connell

Neuroimaging: Ashwin Vishwanathan

Design: Alex Norton and Beth Almeida

Neuroscience: Jinseop Kim

Game Masters: Rachel Prentki, Marissa Sorek, Celia David, Doug Bland, Devon Jones, Mike Weiss, Merlin Moore, Kyle Willie, Ben Silverman

Creative Director: Amy Robinson

MIT UROPs: Aaron Hammond, Dmetri Hayes Michael Purcaro, David Jia, Brett Warne and Rachel Shearer participated in early work on software development. Daniel Berger has assisted with 3D renderings. EyeWire is based on images of the retina acquired at the Max Planck Institute of Medical Research in Heidelberg, Germany by Kevin Briggman, Moritz Helmstaedter, and Winfried Denk using a method known as serial block-face scanning electron microscopy.

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