FlyWire: online community for whole-brain connectomics

Sven Dorkenwald, Claire E. McKellar, Thomas Macrina, Nico Kemnitz, Kisuk Lee, Ran Lu, Jingpeng Wu, Sergiy Popovych, Eric Mitchell, Barak Nehoran, Zhen Jia, J. Alexander Bae, Shang Mu, Dodam Ih, Manuel Castro, Oluwaseun Ogedengbe, Akhilesh Halageri, Kai Kuehner, Amy R. Sterling, Zoe AshwoodJonathan Zung, Derrick Brittain, Forrest Collman, Casey Schneider-Mizell, Chris Jordan, William Silversmith, Christa Baker, David Deutsch, Lucas Encarnacion-Rivera, Sandeep Kumar, Austin Burke, Doug Bland, Jay Gager, James Hebditch, Selden Koolman, Merlin Moore, Sarah Morejohn, Ben Silverman, Kyle Willie, Ryan Willie, Szi chieh Yu, Mala Murthy, H. Sebastian Seung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Due to advances in automated image acquisition and analysis, whole-brain connectomes with 100,000 or more neurons are on the horizon. Proofreading of whole-brain automated reconstructions will require many person-years of effort, due to the huge volumes of data involved. Here we present FlyWire, an online community for proofreading neural circuits in a Drosophila melanogaster brain and explain how its computational and social structures are organized to scale up to whole-brain connectomics. Browser-based three-dimensional interactive segmentation by collaborative editing of a spatially chunked supervoxel graph makes it possible to distribute proofreading to individuals located virtually anywhere in the world. Information in the edit history is programmatically accessible for a variety of uses such as estimating proofreading accuracy or building incentive systems. An open community accelerates proofreading by recruiting more participants and accelerates scientific discovery by requiring information sharing. We demonstrate how FlyWire enables circuit analysis by reconstructing and analyzing the connectome of mechanosensory neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-128
Number of pages10
JournalNature Methods
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Cell Biology


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