EyeWirers complete a new neuron!
We’ve loaded up EyeWire with a new cell: J Cell #6. After this neuron is complete, only one J remains in the current dataset! Pat yourselves on the back for outstanding progress. What’s next?
Many players have asked about the science you’re contributing to. Here is an update.
Recall from this post Sebastian’s description of why the J cell is so cool:
The J cell has a beautiful and remarkable shape. Unlike most retinal neurons which are symmetrical (think starburst neurons), J cell dendrites are asymmetrical and point downwards on the retina. If you look at the overview of the J cell on EyeWire, you’ll see this asymmetry up close.
Due to the J Cell’s unique shape, it is able to respond to only one direction of motion: up (which is downward on the retina, since images are inverted by the eye). How is this complex, selective function possible? EyeWire is helping to shine light on this process that has eluded scientific proof for over 40 years. Recall how during The EyeWire Games we debuted a new way to play whereby you traced from a synapse, rather than from a cell body. To date, the EyeWire community has partially constructed 56 synaptic connections between starburst neurons and the J Cell. This advances our understanding of the local neural networks in the retina, an understanding that we are working to finalize and communicate with you and the world.
We’re working on a paper now that will explore what we are finding with EyeWire data. EyeWire HQ is deep in the process of analyzing the neural networks you have discovered — as soon as we have conclusive findings, we will debut it here on the EyeWire blog.
For now, head over to eyewire.org and let’s map these neurons!