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Wellcome Collection releases online game exploring the anatomy of the brain

Continuing organizational efforts to bring the biomedical sciences to life through casual gaming, the Wellcome Collection has launched a free game that is set inside a fetal brain and models actual biological phenomena found in neural development.

The game, titled Axon, was released in conjunction with the British organization's upcoming exhibition 'Brains: The mind as matter.'Brains' exhibition curator Marius Kwint and neuroscientist Richard Wingate collaborated with developers at London-based games studio Preloaded to produce Axon. According to a Wellcome Collection release:

Taking the anatomy of the brain as a starting point, plus a video showing the microscopic growth of neurons in a chicken's brain, the 'Axon' team combined scientific and games-making expertise to create a challenging, enjoyable and addictive game that has its roots in real science. A concise explanation of the science behind the game, the video and links to Wikipedia articles on neuroanatomy are included within the game.

During the game, players are given the task of making as many of the brain's 100 trillion connections as they can and growing the neuron as long as possible. In doing so, users climb through brain tissue, compete with rival neurons and score by making connections to distant regions of the brain.

Previously: Can battling sepsis in a game improve the odds for material world wins?, Paramecia PacMan: Researchers create video games using living organisms and Mob science: Video game, EteRNA, lets amateurs advance RNA research
Photo by Wellcome Trust

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