A team of researchers from MIT and Max Planck has launched EyeWire on December 10th that is an online game not only allowing the users to check for the neural connections in the retina of the eye but also help the researchers the complete the mapping of the retinal functions in the visual perception and making new discoveries.
Through this project, researchers will be able to map the projections of the retinal cells called as JAM-B cells, which are the first retinal ganglion cells renowned on the basis of molecular marker — a protein called ‘Junctional Adhesion Molecule B’ (JAM-B). These cells react particularly to the upward motion that appears downward due to the inverted images.
EyeWire players will look at the pieces and check whether the computer managed to color in the lines. If the computer stopped coloring too soon, for example, players color in the neuron manually.
This project has been led by MIT’s Sebastian Seung, who is popular for making the concept of mapping neural connections easy and wrote a book on this; Connectomics: How the Brain’s Wiring Makes Us Who We Are.
According to Seung, this technology could help us in understanding some form of blindness and can be applied to the brain to understand some of the disturbances in the brain.