Now that the first EyeWire dataset is complete, let’s switch up the game.
The next stage of EyeWire involves identifying mystery cells that stretch from the retina to the brain — AKA ganglions. Ganglions are the most important cells in the retina because they form the optic nerve and reach directly into the brain. For the record, they don’t actually look like the artistic rendering to the right..but you know we have a special love for dancing neurons here at Seung Lab.
There are 10 to 15 known types of ganglion, including the J Cell. It’s likely that there are more types and that one might be discovered by EyeWirers!
These cells will be labeled “Mystery Cells,” because we don’t know their type until they have been mapped in 3D. After a cell is mapped, we run algorithms to compare its morphology with the current catalog of known cell types to see if it fits into an existing category. Algos are just the first part. Identifying cells involves old fashioned looking, thinking and discussing, as well as reviewing literature. We may invite you to participate in this process through Google+ hangouts!
Solve the latest unknowns by changing view and playing Mystery Cell #3.
Stay tuned for a deep dive science post about the science of the dataset we completed on Sunday!