Happy 7th Birthday Eyewire!

December 10th, 2019 marks Eyewire’s 7th birthday! It’s hard to believe we’ve been on this journey together for so long.

How far we’ve come!

Over 300,000 people have signed up for Eyewire and the community welcomed over 15,000 new players in 2019 alone. Those players together have mapped 3,748 neurons from the retina. 558 additional neurons were charted by Mystics playing zfish.

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Kelv created this cool interactive graph of all the points ever won in Eyewire. You can hover over any bar to see and drag a rectangle over any region of the graph to zoom in.

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1.6 billion points, wow!

These points were won as players mapped neurons across 11,976,201 cubes, which were reaped 955,271 times and “Completed” 3,374,381 times by the 149 Eyewire Scythes.

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In addition to the 149 Scythes, there are 431 Scouts (52 new this year) and 51 players at the Top Rank of Eyewire, Mystic, a rank only attained by 4 players in 2019.

Congratulations to The Top 10 Players of 2019!

KrzysztofKruk | 22411985
galarun | 15887989
susi | 14110354
hewhoamareismyself | 9393843
Atani | 9177960
annkri | 6604440
Noydor | 6284110
colleencat | 6158334
larabadara19 | 5911107
Kfay | 5655974
dragonturtle | 4970707
aesanta1 | 4413343

There are now five players with over 50 million points: Nseraf, susi, galarun, Atani, and KrzysztofKruk. Astonishing!

Eyewire in the Wild

Several museum exhibitions and public experiences featuring Eyewire and the work of Seung Lab debuted in 2019.

Eyewirer Kfay’s animation showing 7 neurons from cortex was featured in the prestigious scientific journal Nature’s outlook on how to map the brain. This was part of a collection on the state and future of neuroscience, which you can check out here.

The first museum kiosk version of Eyewire debuted this spring in London as a part of the Barbican Centre’s exhibit AI: More than Human. This experience focuses on the deep future as humankind becomes ever more entwined with artificial intelligence. What does it mean for our shared humanity? Check out the exhibit if it travels near you – it’ll be making global tours until at least 2022!

Neurons mapped by Eyewire players were featured in Lisbon, Portugal, at the Gulbenkian Museum’s summer Brain – Wider than the Sky Exhibition. The curation team built a touch screen viewer that allowed around 100,000 visitors to explore the wonders of neurons and learn about how citizen scientists are shining light on the body’s most amazing organ by playing Eyewire.

Eyewire Illustrator Daniela Gamba painted this beautiful six foot by six foot cortex canvas at MIT Museum’s Girls in STEM Day. You can see a timelapse of the eight hour painting below. We also hosted two wine and neuron painting nights for adults at the MIT Museum, led by Daniela Gamba and Monica Oh.

Two production babies were born! Ashwin Vishwanathan, the postdoc who oversees Mystic Zfish work, welcomed his second child. The author of this post, Amy Sterling, welcomed a baby girl in August and will be returning from maternity leave in early 2020 to get cranking on the cortical successor to Eyewire.

What’s next? You’ve heard talk about Neo for years now and I’m excited to share that it is slated for release in the first half of 2020. The first release will be an Alpha Launch for Mystics. It will gradually be open to Scythes, Scouts, all Eyewirers, and finally the general public. As players look deeper into the cortex, we invite you to team up with the lab to help evolve and shape the next game with your feedback in mind. Alpha testers will not only be playing with an advanced AI to map giant pyramidal neurons of cortex, but also they will be at the cutting edge of neuroscience, helping to create a tool that will be used by citizen scientists and researchers alike for years to come. Together we will likely discover things no one has ever seen before!

We sincerely thank you for your involvement in Eyewire over the years. The community is not just a group of citizen scientists – you’re a part of the Seung Lab family. As I think ahead, my mind whirrs with the possibilities and my heart beats with the hope that 2020 will be a revolutionary year for us all. Thank you for embarking on this exciting journey with us. Onward!