You can help to map the human brain, even if you failed Introduction to Biology in high school. Past TEDYou speaker Amy Robinson gave a talk this past Monday at TEDxNijmegen on how crowdsourcing research through fun games can help advance the field of neuroscience.
Amy works on a team at MIT led by past TED speaker Sebastian Seung. They are focused on mapping the brain one neuron at a time. But progress is slow; it takes one researcher upwards of 50 hours to map one neuron and there are over 80 billion in the human brain.
To help speed up the process, Seung’s lab created Eyewire, a crowd-sourcing game that allows players to work with one another “in a battle to discover missing branches of neurons.” So far over 35,000 players from 95 countries have signed up and are making daily discoveries. There was even a Facebook vs Reddit vs Google+ vs Team X (EyeWire Veterans) competition with the winner getting to name the new cell they discovered.
Check out Amy’s exciting TEDx talk on Eyewire and the possibilities of citizen neuroscience: