Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Crowdsourcing our brain’s wiring.

You too can be be a neuroscientist! I have to join in the general chorus of press pointing to the efforts of Sebastian Seung, now moving from MIT to Princeton Univ. Detailed analysis of serial ultra-thin electron microscope sections of brain neurons is extremely laborious - tracing one cells takes about 50 hours. Seung has asked for help from the general public ("citizen neuroscientists") in doing this with neurons in the mouse retina. The data on how bipolar cells connect to amacrine motion detecting cells in the retina has suggested a model for motion detection. This animation of their results is a treat to watch:

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