How do you describe Eyewire to someone who has never heard of it?


I’m curious how you explain the game, like your one paragraph intro.

Mine is generally something like (from the perspective of being asked “what do you do?” at events):

Our lab is focused on connectomics, mapping circuits of neurons and the synapses between them. We start with nanoscale images taken with electron microscopes and build AI to semi-automate the reconstruction of 3D cells that have grown in the brain. But the AI gets tripped up easily so we built an online game, Eyewire, that allows anyone anywhere to map neurons by solving 3D puzzles. There’s an awesome collaborative community of participants - Eyewirers. So far they’ve charted new circuits and even discovered six new types of neurons!

1 Like

thanks ill make a business card with that on it and hand it out to people that want to know what i do since i retired :slight_smile:


i work for a Computational Neuroscience Lab at Princeton. Reconstructing neurons into 3d images

1 Like

Like those addicting puzzle games you play on your phone… except it’s actually useful :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

I do this like once a month. I say ‘Digitizing a brain.’ If pressed, I say ‘A mouse retina.’ On Eyewire, I call it a ‘3D coloring book.’

1 Like

I actually like this, since I need to make a speech for my school presentation about EyeWire lol

For me, I’d describe it as a 3D jigsaw puzzle where you have to fill in the missing pieces

1 Like

You’re making a school presentation about Eyewire? Awesome! If you want I’d be happy to share any slides from my presentations over the years :slight_smile:

1 Like

It would be funny to tell someone that I create data that Princeton keeps up with on the daily. Moving and progressing this world forward. But that would be cray lol

1 Like

OMG thank you so much! I will email you as soon as possible.

1 Like

The way I’ve described it to my friends and coworkers is “A game where the players help an AI map out mouse neurons. It’s kinda like a coloring book in 3d.” I get one of 3 responses, either they get really excited and I wind up pulling up the ew fb page and showing them completed neurons, or they give me side eye and slowly scooch away, or I get a blank stare lol.

1 Like

it’s true!

1 Like

do they ever ask you how the game maps your brain?


No, never how it maps the brain, but then I also never use the tagline either. I often get “Why?” or from the more scientific minded, “What are they hoping to achieve?” Which then gives me a chance to talk about neuron types and connectomics.

1 Like

Strange, I’m the opposite.

1 Like

A lot of people ask me how we built a game that maps the brains of the people who play it. XD

1 Like

That’s funny and doesn’t even make sense, as it’s really circular. If I wrapped by brain around this accurately, it sounds like players hook up their brains to a computer that digitizes it when they play the game that you created that shows the digital rendering live as the people play it (maybe by clicking on what they want to see and labeling it?).

1 Like

Yep, that is the presumption of the question I am most frequently asked about Eyewire haha. Or maybe that we are able to map your brain through your webcam. Scifi technology that literally does not even exist.

1 Like

seriously, that would involve ct scans through a computer to the nano level I’m presuming. People have quite a larger imagination than I thought (and definitely further than mine!)


IF YOU HAVE A VISUAL (so like if you are playing the game when they ask), Compare it to how archeologists put together DINOSAUR BONES:bone::bone:

1 Like