When it comes to “big” data, you’re hard-pressed to find a subject bigger than the human brain. Electron microscope images of a cubic millimeter of brain matter are equivalent to a petabyte of data, according to Sebastian Seung, professor of computational neuroscience at MIT, who is on a mission to map the “connectomes” (pronounced like “genome”) inside our heads. Well, inside a head as connectomes are unique and may be the foundations for how our memories — and identities are formed.
As you could imagine, mapping connectomes is a pretty big undertaking, and Seung believes high-powered artificial intelligence isn’t enough. Which is why he’s turned the process into a game, launching Eyewire.org to ask people to join in his cranial crusade.
Watch our video interview with Seung where he explains what connectomes are, why they’re important, and how growing up with coloring books makes you a perfect candidate to help with this project.