Center Events

Warren Center Distinguished Lecture: Sebastian Seung

November 12, 2015 | 3:00 pm Wu & Chen Auditorium, 101 Levine Hall

Evnin Professor in Neuroscience, Professor of Computer Science and Princeton Neurosciences Institute


“The retinal connectome: from mapping to explaining brain function”

EyeWire is the world’s first game to map the brain. Anyone, anywhere in the world can help reconstruct neurons through an activity similar to a 3D coloring book. Since its launch at the end of 2012, EyeWire has registered over 200,000 players from 130 countries.

EyeWire has helped draw a new wiring diagram for a neural circuit in the retina. The discovery was published by Nature magazine in 2014 with 2,183 EyeWirers as coauthors, and represents important progress towards answering the 50-year-old question of how the retina computes the direction of a moving stimulus.

Over the past year, EyeWire has reconstructed a large unbiased sample of retinal neurons, aided by a Korea Telecom marketing campaign called “Countdown to Neuropia.” The reconstructions are being used to create a complete classification of retinal projection neurons into cell types, a problem that has remained unsolved for over a century.

EyeWire showcases a number of advanced technologies used for brain mapping. The high resolution images come from 3D electron microscopy. When players color neurons, they interact with artificial intelligence based on “deep learning.” I will discuss research aimed at further improving these technologies, which is crucial for increasing the throughput of connectomics.