A behind the scenes look at the EyeWire community.
Meet the EyeWirers who are mapping the retinal connectome. Up this week is José Erre.
José Erre is from Venezuela and currently lives in A Coruña, Spain. He is a professional communicator (Radio DJ, actor, singer, journalist) with a Master’s in Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychobiology. His interest and experience in all aspects of human communication pushed him into neuroscience.
Why do you play EyeWire?
When I play EyeWire I feel I’m an actor in neuroscience rather than an amazed witness. I’m contributing in my own active way in a quest that will benefit the whole human race.
How frequently do you get the chance to say something like that: I’m playing a positive and active part for the benefit of the whole human race.
I got the shivers just writing it.
How did you discover EyeWire?
I found out about EyeWire probably by the end of 2011 thanks to a twitter profile from someone in Vancouver, Canada. He tweets about neuroscience and education.
Unfortunately, I recently went back to that profile and it had been closed. I have no idea what happened to this man, I even searched the web trying to locate him, but failed.
Share a short story that helps the world get to know you.
Well, I think it has to be about human behavior, communication and neuroscience. Back in the early 1990’s I was taking an acting class. One day we were in the parking lot just about to leave and a fellow actor made a comment that somehow became the spark of this link for me.
“I’ve realized that when I’m happy, I tend to do little jumps; but now I’ve discovered that if I start jumping like that, I sort of become happy.”
It meant either that neural signals could travel both ways (emotional to physical and vice versa) or that it was a system that worked as a whole and could not be separated. That was the rudimentary hypothesis of an aspiring actor that along the way —studying acting, cinema, public speaking, even signing— found signals everywhere pointing towards neuroscience. So, if anybody were to ask me who got me interested in neuroscience, I would say it was Constantin Stanislavsky
(the father of modern acting).
Anything else you’d like to add?
I’d like to recognize the whole EyeWire team for having the vision and courage to allow your project to live and expand outside your lab, even outside the neuroscience community.
Sometimes I just imagine how awesome it would be if a whole community of neuroscientists and citizen neuroscientist, together, won a Nobel Prize.
That’s just an amusing fantasy, what really matters is what is actually being done; and we’re doing it. Thanks for making it happen.
[aww, thanks, Jose!]
Jose plays EyeWire with his young daughter, Sofía, combining family time with neuroscience education. Way to go!