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A game to map the brain | Amy Robinson | TEDxNijmegen 2013

Amy Robinson: Having fun, doing science
Yesterday during the Tweetup I spoke to Amy Robinson and asked her what she wanted the audience to remember from her talk. Here’s her answer and your take-home message: “The brain is a very complicated thing. You can however help us to fasten up the process of understanding as a non-scientist by joining EyeWire.” EyeWire is a game to map neural networks. Anyone can play, and you don’t need a scientific background. So, stop reading this blog and watch the video, which demonstrates how you can play the game.

During her lecture she explains that it takes a neuroscientist around 50 hours to map one cell, one neuron. And there are more than 80 billion neurons in one human brain. To complete the map of our brain they are looking for help to accelerate this process by crowd sourcing. Amy is asking us, citizen scientists, to contribute to the project. The EyeWire project is only 5 months old and has attracted already a lot of game players including a 15 year old boy from Bulgaria. And there is a lot more potential in the crowd since on average we spent 3 hours per week on gaming. If EyeWire would be one of those games, we contribute to science the same time. Amy: “Having fun while doing science”.

About TEDx
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)


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  1. While at the University of CA in 1999, we helped fund the first citizen science project SETI@home – still analyzing data from space – check them out!

  2. Great job!! And you, Amy, are a beautiful scientist!

  3. Top Score daily player is 16 year old from Bulgaria!

  4. Nice talk,

  5. very few people are that photogenic and possess a speaking voice that listenable. Someone needs to do a Nova episode with her and their neuroscience team.

  6. Great presentation. Tough crowd. Did they not understand English? I expected a lot more reaction from them.

  7. Thank you!

  8. Thank you!!

  9. @crazyman in EyeWire!

  10. Thank you!

  11. Great talk Amy, thanks!

  12. Great talk Amy!

  13. Who's that 15 yo boy can he show himself

  14. Amy, that was awesome. Well spoken, well said. Time to get my Eyewire on!

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