“Video games aren’t a waste of time!”

With the help of video game players, Princeton researchers have created and shared detailed maps of more than 1,000 neurons.

“Eyewire” is the game which pairs machine learning with gamers who trace the twisting and branching paths of a 3D rendering of neurons. Since Eyewire’s launch in 2012, more than 265,000 people have collectively colored in more than 10 million 3D “cubes,” resulting in the mapping of more than 3,000 neural cells.

Using Eyewire-produced maps of 396 ganglion cells, the researchers successfully classified these cells more thoroughly than has ever been done before. “The number of different cell types was a surprise,” said researcher Mu. “Just a few years ago, people thought there were only 15 to 20 ganglion cell types, but we found more than 35 — we estimate between 35 and 50 types.”

Read more: Princeton University / YouTube

This story is taken from the 25 May 2018 edition of The Warren Centre’s Prototype newsletter. Sign up for the Prototype here.