Sometimes I want pizza and sometimes I want donuts; the brain is a mystery. Thankfully there are some scientists out there who are tired of our animistic scratchings and Freudian guesswork and are actually trying to figure out how the old brain box does its job. Right now some of the very best are focused on some nerve cells in the eye:
A specific type of retinal neurons called J Cells respond to stimuli that move downward on the retina (which is the same as upward in the visual world). Neuroscientists do not currently understand how the neural circuits of the retina cause the J Cell to respond in this way.
Mapping the entire three-dimension structure of these neurons with their connetions would take a very long time and be a poor use of time for these scientists, and so they’ve done a very clever thing indeed and turned the entire thing into a game called EyeWire. It’s no Crash Bandicoot: Warped but it’s also good for the world. They’re asking you to play for ten minutes a day; think of it as your gaming salad before the pizza and donuts.