Crowdsourced brain mapping

By Liz Fuller-Wright

With the help of a quarter-million video game players, Princeton researchers created and shared detailed maps of more than 1,000 neurons — and they’re just getting started.

By playing Eyewire, an online platform that turns a time-intensive research problem into an interactive game, the gamers built an unprecedented data set of neurons. Since Eyewire’s launch in 2012, more than 265,000 people have signed onto the game, which asks them to trace the twisting and branching paths of each neuron.

“We’ve made a digital museum that shows off the intricate beauty of the retina’s neural circuits,” said H. Sebastian Seung, the Evnin Professor in Neuroscience and a professor of computer science and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute. The research was published in May 2018 in the journal Cell.

The new Eyewire Museum is an interactive archive of neurons available to the general public and neuroscientists around the world, including the hundreds of researchers involved with Seung in the federal Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. Explore the neurons at museum.eyewire.org

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