Welcome to the Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter.
Here is what you will find in this issue:
1. What's New at Neuroscience for Kids
2. Neuroscience for Kids Site of the Month
3. Neuroscience for Kids Writing Contest - Results!
4. Brain Awareness Week
5. Human Subject
6. Media Alert
7. Treasure Trove of Brain Trivia
8. Support Neuroscience for Kids
9. How to Stop Your Subscription
A. February Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
B. New Alzheimer's Disease Study Seeks Volunteers
C. Do Wild Elephants Get Drunk?
In February, 4 new figures were added and 43 pages were modified.
The Alzheimer's Association has created "Inside the Brain: An Interactive Tour" to explain how the brain works and how Alzheimer’s disease affects the brain. The site consists of 16 interactive slides that allow users to highlight special features on each image. The first seven slides explain the basic anatomy and physiology of the brain. The last nine slides illustrate how Alzheimer's disease damages the brain. Side-by-side images that compare a healthy brain to a brain damaged by Alzheimer's disease are especially useful.
For more information about Alzheimer's disease, visit the main Alzheimer's Association web site at:
From Chakym C., a second grader in Douglas, GA (Kindergarten through Grade 2; poem in any style):
Wrinkled, gray Helps me think, It is full of knowledge Cerebrum
From Akis P., a third grader in Gainesville, FL (Grade 3 to Grade 5; poem must rhyme):
Athena was born out of Zeus' brain, He had to endure a lot of pain. Athena was very, very wise, But it's our brain that really flies. Our brain can think and smell the flowers, And lets us travel the world in hours. When we play and have a lot of fun, It's our brain that keeps us safe on the run.From Samantha L., a sixth grader in Merrimack, NH (Grade 6 to Grade 8; poem must be a haiku):
Searching for the clue Puzzled what the brain can do Neuroscience blues.From Ariana W., an eleventh grader in Spokane, WA (Grade 9 to Grade 12; poem must be a limerick):
I have billions of cells in my noggin, That order my limbs when I'm joggin'. When the oxygen flows, I thinks and I knows, That the brain's a real technical organ!Thank you to Capstone Press, Bridgestone Books, Compass Point Books and the Dana Press for donating prizes for the contest.
The American Psychological Association also has a list of speakers:
Here at the University of Washington, 300 students will attend the 9th annual BAW Open House on March 22. The Open House will feature hands-on, interactive exhibits sponsored by researchers and staff from various university departments and organizations. If you would like to share what you did during BAW, send me (e-mail: email@example.com) a summary of your activities and I will try to include it in a future issue of the Neuroscience for Kids newsletter.
Even if you cannot organize a brain fair or a classroom visit by a neuroscientist, you can still participate in BAW with some lessons about the brain and nervous system. Neuroscience for Kids has some "brainy" ideas for a day, a week or a whole month:
By the way, March 13-17 is also Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week. For more information about Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week, see:
Before the experiment started, the researcher explained the purpose of the study, the benefits her results could have, the procedures that would be done, the risks involved and how the data would be used. This type of explanation is given to each participant before they are part of an experiment. I signed two papers to show that the study was explained to me.
I was then led into the lab where a small block was placed on my back. The temperature of the block was increased for a few seconds and I was asked to rate my pain. The experiment required that I tolerate a temperature that was hot, but not too hot. I answered a few questions about the pain caused by the block and then played a virtual reality video game for five minutes. While I played the game, the temperature of the block was increased again. After I finished the game, I again rated the pain caused by the block.
After the experiment was finished, I learned that I was in the experimental group. Another group of subjects (the control group) watched the video game, but did not get to play the game. By comparing the results of the two groups, researchers will be able to determine if playing the virtual reality game affected pain perception more than just watching the game.
I hope that my participation in the study will help in the development of
a new treatment for pain. Volunteering for an experiment is a great way
to learn how science is done -- and the extra pocket money is nice too.
Do Animals Have Feelings?
Combating Stress in Iraq
Science Probes Spirituality
Mastery of Emotions
B. "Lower the Volume" by Ranit Mishori (Parade magazine, February 5, 2006) discusses hearing loss and ways to protect your hearing.
C. "The cover story of the February 20, 2006 issue of US News & World Report is titled "Miracle of Brain Repair."
D. The January/February issue of Neurology Now is available with stories about former Attorney General Janet Reno and her battle with Parkinson's disease and country singer Clay Walker and his battle with multiple sclerosis. Remember, you can get a free subscription to Neurology Now at:
E. "Learning to Find Your Way" by Eric R. Kandel (Natural History, March,
2006) describes how the brain forms memories about space.
A. Approximately 520 tons of cocaine entered the United States in 2002.
B. A ton contains 1,016,000 grams or 2,032,000 half-gram rocks of crack cocaine. A half-gram rock of crack cocaine sells for $10-20.
C. The net value of 520 tons of cocaine is about $16 billion.
D. John Styth Pemberton, the man who invented Coca-Cola, was addicted to morphine.
E. Sigmund Freud recommended that cocaine should be used to treat morphine
and alcohol addiction.
Help Neuroscience for Kids
Your comments and suggestions about this newsletter and the "Neuroscience for Kids" web site are always welcome. If there are any special topics that you would like to see on the web site, just let me know.
Eric H. Chudler, Ph.D.