Posted on 27.06.12 by Kirsty
Ever wanted to be involved in a major piece of scientific research? Do you love colouring in? Well, now's your chance!
In a quest to discover how vision works, neuroscientists and computer programmers in the US are looking for help outside of the science community.
Inside the retina, tucked away at the back of the eye, lies an incredibly dense tangle of interconnected neurons. If they can map the many connections between these cells, they will be closer than ever to understanding how vision works. The task itself is beyond the ability of artificial intelligence alone so they need something more intelligent than even the most powerful supercomputer — you.
To this end lots of microscope images have been collected and now its the job of ‘Citizen Scientists’ to make sense of these pictures.
To get lots of people involved they have created a simple game called Eyewire: in which the player helps the computer to color a neuron as if the images were a three-dimensional coloring book. Take a look, challenge your family and friends to play and become a 'Citizen Scientist'!