Scientists Gamify Mapping the Brain

In 2011 the game foldit enabled the masses to solve scientific mysteries by discovering the structure of proteins.  Gamers solved an HIV enzyme riddle that had confounded scientists for a decade — in three weeks.  There’s a new science game in town, this time focused on understanding the human mind.

“Have you ever wondered why every person is unique? Could it be because our brains are wired differently? Our goal is to test this hypothesis by developing and applying technologies for finding connectomes, maps of connections between neurons.”

Neuroscientists at MIT, Harvard and several other Universities have come together to launch Wired Differently.  The project is described as a “‘citizen science’ community to test the hypothesis that the uniqueness of a person, from memories to mental disorders, lies in his or her connectome.”   This wonderful crowd-sourced project will empower anyone with an internet connection to help the world’s top neuroscientists organize hundreds of terabytes of data. You will even be able to play from an iPhone.
Check out Wired Differently Co-Founder Sebastian Seung’s TEDTalk for a more detailed description of the connectome and perhaps more importantly, why it matters.

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