About Eyewire, A Game to Map the Brain

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Eyewire is a game to map the brain in collaboration with the Seung Lab at Princeton. Anyone can play and you need no scientific background — over 200,000 people from 145 countries already do. Together we are mapping the 3D structure of neurons; advancing our quest to understand ourselves.

play eyewire a game to map the brain

By joining Eyewire, you can help map the connectome, starting with connections between retinal neurons. Eyewire gameplay advances neuroscience by helping researchers discover how neurons connect and network to process information. You also help develop advanced artificial intelligence and computational technologies for mapping the connectome.

How it works

In Eyewire, players are challenged to map branches of a neuron from one side of a cube to the other. Think of it as a 3D puzzle. Players scroll through the cube (measuring about 4.5 microns per side or ~10x smaller than the average width of a human hair) and reconstruct neurons in volumetric segments with the help of an artificial intelligence algorithm developed at Seung Lab.

For fun. For science!

As you trace through each neuron you’ll rack up points based on speed, skill, and accuracy. Trace your way to the top of the leaderboard, engage in themed competitions against your Eyewire friends, and earn badges to show off your Eyewire achievements. If you’re good enough you can climb the ranks to Advanced Player, Scout, and the prestigious Order of the Scythe.

Look out for special in-game competitions as well. Eyewire holds a weekly Friday “Happy Hour” (2-4 PM ET), a Thursday “Happy Hour 180” (8-10 AM ET), biweekly VS competitions, and bimonthly themed competitions full of mini games that offer competitors limited edition badges, loads of points bonuses, and occasionally themed swag.

Eyewire is also a great way to meet friends from across the globe. Some of our players have even met up in person. Check out these Featured Eyewirers to learn a little more about the members of our favorite online community!

Eyewire 101

Why we do what we do:


Inspiration: Sebastian Seung’s TEDTalk


Eyewire Team

Executive Director: Amy R. Sterling
Full Stack Developers: William Silversmith, Chris Jordan
Designer: Rob Hamill
Game Masters: Marissa Sorek, Celia David, Devon Jones, Doug Bland
Illustrator: Daniela Gamba
2017 Illustration Interns: Zoe Gillette, Minjeong Kim, Rabbit Giraud
Consulting Designer: Alex Norton
Founder & Principal Investigator: Sebastian Seung

Princeton University, Seung Lab

See seunglab.org.

Eyewire ONFIRE, neuron, branchesFormer Team Members

MIT UROPs: Aaron Hammond, Dmetri Hayes, Michael Purcaro, David Jia, Brett Warne, and Rachel Shearer participated in early work on software development. Claire O’Connell (edX fellowship).
Development Team: Mark Richardson, Leandro Burnes, Srini Turaga, Matt Susskind, Katya Radul, Matt Balkam
Neuroimaging: Ashwin Vishwanathan
Neuroscience: Jinseop Kim
Backend Development: Shang Mu
Algorithms, AI, and Data Structures: Aleks Zlateski, Kisuk Lee
Development Intern: Alec Jordan
Game Masters & Tracers: Rachel Prentki, Lyndsey Trawinski, Aleks Ostojic, Ross Avery, Sean Temple, Mike Weiss, Ian Danskin, Joanna Wheatley
Illustration & Graphic Design: Beth Almeida, Luke Hollyer, Amy Concannon, Stewart Holmes, Hannah Choi, Chengcheng Xiao, Nicole Benson, Montakan Namthong, Tyler Scagliarini, Dom Civiello, Karyll Catubig, Grace Emmet, Maddi Coyne, Soyeon Lim, Vivian Zhang, Hilary Bouvier, Jordi Valladares
Music & Sound Design: John Smith, Julian Samal
Korean Translation & Community Support: Kyung Lim, Mina Kim

Shoutout to Matt Irwin and the team at Indicated.co, who created Neuron Safari, Eyewire’s pioneering virtual reality experience. Scott Greenwald and Daniel Citron contributed to the design and development of BrainVR.

Daniel Berger has assisted with 3D renderings. Eyewire is based on images of the retina acquired at the Max Planck Institute of Medical Research in Heidelberg, Germany by Kevin Briggman, Moritz Helmstaedter, and Winfried Denk using a method known as serial block-face scanning electron microscopy.

eyewire title GIF

Eyewire is currently funded by the National Institutes of Health, the NSF, and the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA). It was originally made possible by support from the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Max Planck Society.

Special Thanks: Elizabeth Bailey, Rachel Cuozzo, Alan Diaz-Romero, Emilio Gonzalez, Jonathan Gootenberg, Shaunak Kishore, Yinqing Li, Greg Lubin, Tomer Mangoubi, Claire O’Connell, Ami Patel, Laya Rajan, Christopher Smith, Jacob Steinhardt, Jessica Sun, Arvind Thiagarajan, and Jason Toy.

All Eyewire images, screenshots and animations are licensed Creative Commons-Share Alike, non-commercial. We kindly request that you contact support at eyewire dot org before publishing any of our images.

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