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Map the human brain by playing EyeWire

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Sebastian Seung, a professor of neuroscience at MIT, needs your help.

Modern neuroscience is about a century old, Seung explained in a YouTube video, but there's still much the discipline doesn't know — like all of the neural connections in the retina, for example.

That's where you come in.

"Only if we mobilize an army of fearless explorers will we ever succeed in mapping out all the connections in the retina," Seung said.

That's why he and his team of neuroscientists and computer scientists at MIT created EyeWire, which turns the laborious process of mapping the human brain into a video game, a "quest to map the brain," as he calls it in the video above.


The idea is to outsource the time-consuming work to players, who are better at deciphering patterns in a given cube of neural matter than artificial intelligence and whose play can create better AI. Since the game's launch last December, more than 70,000 people have played EyeWire.

"It takes players about three minutes on average to complete a cube," EyeWire creative director Amy Robinson told Wired. "So they've spent an equivalent of six years of time on EyeWire since the launch."

Prospective cranial cartographers can sign up at the official EyeWire website.