Join MIT in a global quest to map the brain.

The Seung Lab at MIT is recruiting citizen scientists from around the world to help map 3D structures of retinal neurons by playing the online game, EyeWire. The game does not require a scientific background, but rather curiosity and careful eyes. Players are trained to detect tiny branches of neurons and color them in a 3D model. This global army of scientific gamers helps researchers better understand how neurons connect and process information; their human vision also helps inform and advance artificial intelligence to map the brain.

I decided to join the “neuroscience revolution” and play EyeWire. Once I got the hang of navigating the 2D and 3D views of the neurons, the challenge of filling in missing links of neurons became surprisingly delightful and almost meditative. The game really is like a 3D coloring book, albeit one that is constantly shifting and forcing you to squint your eyes. Although the online navigation is a little tricky, with patience, practice, and good eyesight, kids and adults both can become citizen neuroscientists and join the movement to help MIT map the brain.