On the intersection of technology, culture, and everyday life: My semi-updated space to collect and link my thoughts about interesting things I spot.
Citizen scientists and game designers might have had a moment of pride today. A round of surprised applause for the fact that a neuroscientist game, Eyewire, could temporarily be downed from too heavy traffic. The web-based game mobilizes players to analyze nanoscale brain images and trace 3D structures of neurons and their connections like a coloring jigsaw puzzle. Likened to FoldIt, cognitive surplus time can playfully be engaged for solving medical questions, like how the neural circuits of the retina cause specific types of retinal neurons (J Cells) to respond to stimuli. Says MIT’s Sebastian Seuong, “You can imagine the brain as an enchanted forest of 100 billion trees, because neurons sprout delicate branches. The forest is so vast that we neuroscientists can never explore it all by ourselves. We need help from the public.” More from Seuong in his Huffington Post article.
Tangenting from trees to forrest, but still on the topic of visualizations and harnessing the drawing hands of the public. Folks who haven’t yet seen Exquisite Forest should wander through their branches in their new Endless Theater (and if in London check out the exhibit at The Tate). The online art project (and Chrome experiment) lets people draw short animations that build off one another as collections of branching narratives. The unique navigation up and down the tree branches become an unique way to interactively watch a choose-your-own-adventure style animation.