The Eyewire Lexicon

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This page holds the concentrated terminology created by participants (players and admins alike) of Eyewire. Feast your eyes and gorge your brain cells on all the knowledge.


Acc/AQC: Accuracy

Administrator (Admin): One who works for/with EyeWire HQ. Their role includes but is not limited to: reaping and editing cubes, moderating the chat and forum, presenting new cells for tracing and declaring cells complete, editing the blog and wiki, and running in-game competitions and bestowing bonuses upon winners of such competitions.

Advanced Player: A player who has passed the Lightning tutorial and has access to all active EyeWire cells. See also: Trainee

Amacrine Cell: A type of neuron in the retina. Bipolar cells make synapses with them, and they make synapses with ganglion cells. There is no true distinction between the dendrites and axon of an amacrine cell. These projections may be referred to as neurites or Branches for accuracy, or dendrites for simplicity.

Ancestors: Cubes that are closer to the cell body and spawned before a given cube. The immediate ancestor of a cube is it's parent. Scouts/scythes and admins can see these cubes (or ID of cubes) by clicking "Show" in the Scout toolbox. These cubes will then be highlighted. See also child.

Autapse: Autapses are synapses that a cell forms with itself, and through which another neurite passes. See also: Self-Touch

Axon: The projection from the cell body that sends electrochemical signals on to other neurons. Axons can be very long, are usually straight and thicker than dendrites. They only branch at the end.


backtrace: A trace going backwards from the point of a merger, allowing one to see that the place in question is not a just a branching.

Bipolar Cell: A type of neuron in the retina. Photoreceptors and horizontal cells make synapses with them and they make synapses with amacrine and ganglion cells. Their name comes from their appearance, as they have one projection on each side of the cell body.

Black spill: (Also called dark spill or ink spill.) A place in the cube where the stain used in the sample has pooled or spread beyond it's target. These places usually look like black spots and rivers. The trace through these areas is often rough, gappy and hard to follow. More info in: video tutorial on them:

Branch: A synonym for Neurite. | Part of the trace in a cube that touches the cube wall and exits.

Bouton: The synaptic terminal on the presynaptic cell in a chemical synapse. It contains neurotransmitters that are released when the cell is activated. These also occur along the branches of amacrine and some other cells.


ca: Chat appropriate. !rules.

Cell Body: The large, bulbous part of the neuron, which contains the nucleus and most of the other organelles in a neuron. Type !cb in chat.

Chatstracted: Distracted by CHAT (again, a twisterism)

Child: A cube spawned by another cube (parent).

Children: (In cube) Scouts/scythes and admins As above only with a child of that cube. Press show child. | (Overview) Scouts/scythes and admins can see the cubes (or # of cubes) that spawned further down the branch (away from the cell body). hit "Show" the cubes to highlight.

Complete Ancestors: Scythes can mark all the cubes that are direct ancestors of the selected cube complete. Select a cube then hit complete ancestors (or c+down arrow) (first check the branch for completion. Things you mark complete should be perfect)

Complete Children Scythes can mark all the cubes that are direct descendants of the selected cube complete. Select a cube then hit complete children (or c+up arrow) (first check the branch for completion. Things you mark complete should be perfect)

Confidence: The likelihood that a segment belongs to a certain cube, based on how many players have included it in their trace.

Connectome: A complete wiring diagram of an organism’s neurons. Connectomics is the study of the connectome of an organism. Connectionism is a theory that the neural processes that occur in an organism are dictated by the connections between the neurons.

Consensus: The trace that is accepted to be true for a cube. It will change with more player submissions, and can be changed by scythes and admins. A weight of no less than 3.0 is required for a consensus to form on mystery cells, and no less than 2.0 for lightning cells.

cont: Coined by Andrearwen. As in Continue. As in, does this branch cont (extend) or not?

corner cubes: The little cubes that get missed by completion, just small corner traces.

Created: Scouts & Scythes can select this heat map to See relative time of creation of cubes. It is an option under "Heat Map". Slider changes sensitivity.

Cube: Players trace cells in EyeWire one cube at a time. Cubes are not to be confused with volumes; many cubes will share the same volume. Synonym for task.

cubemaster/cube mistress: Someone who is sitting on a cell, single-mindedly working towards its completion.


Dendrite: A projection from the cell body that receives electrochemical signals from other cells through synapses.

Deselect: Scythes can remove the entire trace, leaving only the seed. (in inspect).

Deja-Cube: A term used to describe that feeling that you've done the same cube (or trace) before. It is not the same exact cube though, it is usually an overlapping cube to the one you did before that has part(s) of the same seed and trace. Coined by player Faunhaert.

Direction-Selective Ganglion Cell (DSGC): A type of ganglion cell in the retina that produces a response that is dependent on the direction of motion of the stimulus.

Dread 20/40: A cube that should have been worth a lot more than 20/40pts, but got 20/40pts. Dread 20/40 may have been caused by Trailblazer or 2nd person error. If the Trailblazer missed a fair amount of volume, you could points deducted from your score for "overtracing". Take a screen shot and alert a Scythe or Admin. If reaped, your accuracy will not be affected. Note that Dread 20 and Dread 40 are the most common values (being maximum time points for level 1/level 2), but other values are possible. Coined by player mam711.

Dusting: Adding a lot of snow/dust., in a cube.


Evil cube: A cube with a distinctly evil trace, usually contains some combination of merger jumps, mergers, black spills, or other difficulties.

Evil Cubes: A challenge in EyeWire in which players trace exceptionally hard cubes, handpicked by other players and/or admins.

Explore Mode: A feature in EyeWire that allows the players to trace in a third color, different than that of their trace and the seed, and can chose to include or omit the “explored” segments from their final trace.


Flag: A tool used by scouts to draw attention to a certain cube. Causes the cube to show up yellow in scythe vision. inspect a cube and click "flag".

Flaglog: Verb meaning to flag + log a cube. In fact, a scout should never just flag. They should Flaglog. Coined by player Cliodhna.

Flipping the cube/changing planes: Rotating the cube 90 degrees so the 2D plane lies on another axis. Useful for checking traces

Floater: A seed piece in a cube that is not touching any walls. | For a more detailed explanation visit:


gamemaster: Another term for admin (in eyewire).

Ganglion Cell: The neurons responsible for transferring information from the retina to the brain.

Glial Cell: The cells that support and protect neurons. They hold the neurons in place, supply them nutrients and oxygen, insulate them from one another, destroy pathogens and remove dead neurons.

Glial goo: The evilness of glial when it latches onto something else that is legit

GrimReaper: An all powerful being in EyeWire. Has the abilities to remove mergers, extend branches, gives points to those who lend a hand, and takes them away from those who work to hinder scientific progress


Harold: The -unofficial-name of the mouse who donated his retina to science!

HH, Happy Hour: An event from the hours of 2-4pm EST, where bonus points are awarded for a certain number of points traced (starting at 2500)

Heat Map: A function in EyeWire used by scouts, scythes, and admins to visualize information about the cell, using each cube as a single data point.

Hunt: A challenge in which a cell is chosen and mergers are added to it. Players must find and report all mergers in order to win.


Inspect: Term that Scouts, Scythes and admins use to signify entering a cube from overview or after jumping from a cube given in chat.


JAM-B (J) Cell: A subcategory of direction-selective ganglion cells that have an asymmetric dendritic arbor.

Jump (In Cube): A term Scouts, Scythes and admins use to jump to a child or parent cube of currently inspected cube, or from an ID given in chat.


Lightning Cell (Level 2): A cell that is more difficult than other mystery -ganglion- cells. Points earned on these cells are doubled. The accuracy requirement for trailblazing on these cells is 80%. This was instituted after the end of the Starburst Challenge.

Lightning Tutorial: A series of cubes picked to train players to deal with the potential problems they will run into in Lightning cells.

Lock a cube: Locking prevents a cube from being played, by having 2 scythes or an admin complete a cube. Players will no longer get assigned the cube, but it can still be reaped.

low conf, low confidence: A trace in a cube that is a pink/red color. The cube needs more traces containing those pieces, or to be locked.

low wt, low weight: A cube that has only been traced by one or two people


Marathon: A challenge in which all players have to work together, with admins, to try to complete a cell in under 24 hours.

Mentor: A user who is able to join others in their cubes in order to help them overcome a difficulty or teach them how to play.

Merger: An error in the reconstruction of the cell in which a part of another cell has been mistakenly included in the cell in question. This could be caused by faulty segmentation, a problem in the seed of a cube, artifacts in the image data, mistakes by the players, or a combination of any of the reasons. Type !merger in chat.

Misalignment: An artifact in the data in which the slides appear to shift over. The shift might be sudden or there might be a white slide in between the two sides of the misalignment.

Moderator: Players who enforce the rules of chat e.g. informing players when they break the rules and muting players who intentionally break the rules.

mootstashed: An adjective describing a cube that had an issue requiring scout/scythe/admin attention, but got stashed, rendering the issue moot.

Mystery Cell (Level 1): Cells that are available for all to play. Once the basic tutorials are finished, they will play in one of these cells.

OMCS: One More Cube Syndrome - when player cannot stop, must trace just one more cube. Coined by player Nseraf.


Neurite: A projection from the cell body of a neuron, which could either be dendrites or the axon.

Nub: A projection off the branch of a neuron that is short any may serve to form a synapse.

Nublets: Little tiny baby nubs. Usually used when there are a lot in a cube.


Overcoloring: A calculation of the percentage of total volume added that was not a part of the cell being traced.

Overview: The 3D representation of cells in EyeWire.


Parent: A cube that spawns another cube - used to check traces in child

playcomplete: Play a cube, exit to overview to check it, scythe complete it, then return to submit it. Useful for finding little stuff to be sc when a cell is nearing completion.

pm me: "Please send a private message to me" containing whatever topic of discussion.


Reap: Scythes and admins can re-weigh the consensus of the currently selected cube, adding or removing segments. Re-reaping a cube having added or removed one ore more segments reweighs the consensus on that cube to the new reap but does not perpetually add 2 more weight in tht cube, just reallocates each scythe's 2 reap weight to the new trace. It may take more than one scythe to add or remove something from the consensus and players can still afterwards play that cube which can result to whatever was added and/or removed to be readded or removed. It takes only one admin to add or remove anything from a cube and players cannot alter the consensus of an admin weighted cube as its weight turns to one million. Also reaping a cube will turn it orange if reaped by a scythe (unless it was previously scouted, in which case it remains yellow) or red if reaped by an admin. Enter the cube with inspect trace or remove what you think is missing or is causing a merger and click the button "reap"

reapgrow: When scythes/admins submit traces just to raise cubes' weight and grow a branch; must get permission from admins first.

requestractions: those REQUESTS that are DISTRACTIONS from the work at hand (coined by twister2).


Scout: A player who looks for mergers, missing branches, and missing nubs in the reconstruction of cells.

sc: Scythe complete. When a scythe marks a cube as 'complete' in overview. Requires two scythes to 'lock' so the cube is no longer playable. scying is the verb of taking such an action by a scythe. Coined by Nseraf.

Scythe: A player who corrects the mergers, missing branches, and missing nubs in the reconstruction of cells.

Scything: The act of reaping a cube (by a scythe).

Scythe Vision: A heat map that shows what cubes have been scouted, scythed, frozen, etc.

Seed: The initial segments that are given to a player when entering a cube. These segments are chosen based on the segments in the parent cube.

Segment: Subdivisions of the data which an artificial intelligence has decided belong together. Players must chose all the segments belonging to the neuron when tracing a cube.

Self-Touch: A self-touch is a non-synaptic contact between a cells neurites.

slurker: Slithering+lurking (created by Twist, applied (usually) to Twist).

Snapper: A cube where you get a Dread 20/40, but when you inspect it, the trace is already correct (i.e. your trace snapped the consensus; you are the tiebreaker). Coined by player mam711.

snow/dust: Little pieces of color missing throughout a trace.

Soma: A synonym for Cell Body.

Spawned: A cube is spawned when the branches of a previous cube are extended to the walls of that cube. The spawned cube continues the extension of this branch.

squigglebranch: A branch that moves like a snake back and forth across the cube. Coined by player Andrearwen.

Starburst Amacrine Cell: A type of amacrine cell that plays a role in directional selectivity.

Starburst Challenge: A challenge in EyeWire where players were mapping as many Starburst Amacrine Cells as possible. This challenge has since been completed.

stashed: A cube that has been removed (or when a trace changes the parent cube), from the cell. This is a cube status which can be seen if you scroll down in the popup rectangle in scythe vision.

Synapse: A connection between the axon of one cell and the dendrite of another. In chemical synapses, neurotransmitters are released from the presynaptic cell’s axon and are absorbed by the postsynaptic cell’s dendrite. In electrical synapses, an action potential flows directly from the axon of one cell to the dendrite of another through a shared cytoplasm.


Task: A synonym for cube.

Trailblazing/er: Being the first person to complete a cube. For mystery cells, this requires 70% accuracy and will result in 50 points immediately, and more points after two others have traced the cube. For lightning cells, this requires 80% accuracy and the 2X multiplier that is applied to normal play in lightning cells is still applied. Type !tb in chat.

Trainee: A player who has not passed the basic tutorial yet.


Undercoloring: a calculation of the percentage of total branches missing from a player’s traces.


Volume: The area in the dataset in which a cube resides. Many cubes can exist in one volume, but each volume is different. While no two volumes are the same, each volume overlaps with its neighbors.


Wall trace: Those annoying traces that you can only find to continue along one wall (often missed by players)

(Please) watch me: Requesting a mentor come into the cube to assist per "mentor rules"

watchtrace: mentoring in order to trace a cube for someone. Coined by player mam711.

WebGL: A web technology that brings 3D graphics to the browser without installing additional software. It is used to render the overview and the 3D part of a cube.[1]

Weight: The total amount of weighted validations made on a cube. A disenfranchised player has a weight of 0.1 and a regular player has weight one. When scything a cube, one has a weight of two. When reaping a cube, one has a weight of one million.


Zombie merger: A merger that "comes back from the dead" after being reaped out, usually because it got traced in an overlapping cube later, or because it was already in an overlapping cube but the reaper(s) only removed it from the first cube and then lazily forgot to make sure the merger was really gone. (coined by Atani


  1. Chrome Experiments - WebGL Experiments