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Scientific Discovery Game Significantly Speeds ­p Neuroscience Research Process

Mozak in use.

The Mozak scientific discovery game allows citizen scientists and gamers to trace the intricate shapes of neurons, and to speed fundamental brain science research.

Credit: University of Washington

Researchers at the University of Washington (UW) Center for Game Science and the Allen Institute for Brain Science have developed Mozak, a scientific discovery game enabling citizen scientists to generate three-dimensional reconstructions of neurons in different regions of human and animal brains.

"It's really exciting that regular people out in the world can, in a short period of time, be taught how to reconstruct neurons on the same level as experts who have been doing this a long time," says the Allen Institute's Staci Sorensen.

Since Mozak's November launch, about 200 daily players and Allen Institute neuroscientists have rebuilt neurons 3.6 times faster than previous techniques, and are outperforming computers at tracing neuronal structures.

"There's a big bottleneck in processing and analyzing the data coming in, which is where the Mozak community is making a big impact," says UW professor Zoran Popovic.

From UW Today
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