FlyWire is accepting submissions in its first data challenge

FlyWire, a BRAIN-funded project, is hosting a challenge to optimize the grouping of visual neurons within clusters, known as columns, in the right optic lobe of the Drosophila brain.

FlyWire is a global effort to reconstruct the full Drosophila (fruit fly) connectome, a comprehensive map of neural pathways and connections in the brain, using human-AI collaboration. The right optic lobe of the brain is used in analyzing visual input. In the FlyWire Connectome, the right optic lobe contains 23,452 “columnar” neurons. These neurons can be defined by of 31 distinct types and divided into 796 “columns”. Each column consists of a group of neurons that are responsible for processing information about what a fly can see within a specific region of its field of vision.

Using the FlyWire connectome, this data challenge invites people to improve upon the current “best” column groupings by increasing the fraction of connections (synapses) inside the columns. The results of this challenge have the potential to expand today’s knowledge of the structure of the fly’s visual processing brain areas.

This data challenge is open to everyone and there is no limit on the number of submissions per participant. A neuroscience background isn’t required, but some programming and algorithmic skills may be useful. To read more about the challenge and download the data set, visit the challenge website, which requires signing in and agreeing to its terms. Submissions are due by April 30, 2024. Winners of the challenge will be given a special recognition plaque from the FlyWire team at Princeton University and will be invited to give a talk about their solution.

Questions about the challenge? Email  

Dissemination of the FlyWire Connectome is funded by the NIH BRAIN Initiative grant U24NS126935.

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