Volume 10, Issue 4 (April, 2006)


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. Job Change
4. 2006 UW Brain Awareness Week Open House
5. Book Review
6. Media Alert
7. Treasure Trove of Brain Trivia
8. Support Neuroscience for Kids
9. How to Stop Your Subscription


Neuroscience for Kids had several new additions in March including:

A. March Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
B. Baseball Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett Has Stroke
C. Lead Found in Children's Flashlights
D. Columbia University, $200 Million for New Neuroscience Research Center
E. 2006 University of Washington Brain Awareness Week Open House

In March, 11 new figures were added and 40 pages were modified.


The Neuroscience for Kids "Site of the Month" for April is "The Infinite Mind" at:

"The Infinite Mind" is a public radio show series about neuroscience, mental health and mind-body relationships. Many of the programs are archived on the show's web site so you can hear them (using the Real Media plug-in for your computer) when you have time. Recent topics discussed on the show include memory loss, mental health care for immigrants, the psychology of names, body clocks, Asperger's syndrome and genius. In addition to the audio portion of the programs, each show has a summary of the topic with links to books and web sites for people to learn more.


On March 1, 2006, I started a new job. After working in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Washington since 1991, I decided it was time for a change. My new job title is Director of Education and Outreach at University of Washington Engineered Biomaterials (UWEB). I will be a Research Associate Professor in the University of Washington Department of Bioengineering. In my new job, I will be responsible for several programs that aim to get young students interested in science. To learn about UWEB education and outreach programs, see:

If you are a teacher in the Seattle area and would like your students to learn about bioengineering and biomaterials, UWEB can send a volunteer to your classroom. Each classroom visit includes an interactive presentation, career information and a hands-on design project. If you would like to set up a visit, please contact Dr. Catherine Grubin at UWEB (e-mail:

So, what does my job change mean to Neuroscience for Kids? Neuroscience for Kids will remain on the Internet and you should not notice any changes in the material on the web site. I will continue to add content to the web site, but because Neuroscience for Kids is still not funded, I cannot devote as much time to the web site and I cannot hire other people to help. If you know an organization that would like to contribute to Neuroscience for Kids, please let me know.

I will also continue to publish the Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter and send it to you by e-mail on the first of every month. There are now more than 8,200 people on the newsletter mailing list!


Did you celebrate Brain Awareness Week (BAW) last month? Here at the University of Washington (UW), 320 students from local schools attended the BAW Open House. Students explored with hands-on exhibits set up by researchers, clinicians and staff from laboratories and other organizations. For example, the UW Department of Anesthesiology set up a transcranial Doppler machine so students could watch their brain blood flow and the UW EEG and Clinical Neurophysiology lab connected students to an EEG machine to record their brain waves. The Pacific Science Center and the UW Neurobiology and Behavior program set up several experiments to test students' sensory abilities. The Allen Institute for Brain Research, University of Washington Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences and a Seattle-based Hydrocephalus Support Group joined the Open House for the first time. You can read about the Open House and see some pictures of the exhibits at:

I also visited with students and teachers in the Seattle area to share my interest in the brain. Together we built neurons, explored the senses and compared the brains of different animals.

If you would like to let others know how you celebrated BAW, send me (e-mail: a brief description of your event and I will try to publish it in next month's Neuroscience for Kids newsletter.


"I'll Hold Your Hand So You Won't Fall. A Child's Guide to Parkinson's Disease" by Rasheda Ali, West Palm Beach (FL): Merit Publishing, 2005 [ISBN: 1-873413-13-0].

Neurological disorders affect not only the person with the disease, but the person's family and friends too. Children of people with such illnesses may become confused when their parents have trouble moving and speaking or show changes in their personalities. To help explain Parkinson's disease to children, Rasheda Ali wrote the book "I'll Hold Your Hand So You Won't Fall. A Child's Guide to Parkinson's Disease."

Rasheda Ali is the daughter of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali. In the forward to the book, Muhammad Ali mentions that he has had Parkinson's disease for more than 20 years and that he has found it difficult to talk to his grandchildren about his condition. Rasheda Ali's book is a great way for people with Parkinson's disease to discuss their condition with their children and grandchildren.

The book is meant to be read with children. Different symptoms of Parkinson's disease are discussed with 1) text written from a child's perspective, 2) illustrations of a symptom, 3) questions to ask a child and 4) facts about a symptom.

Rasheda Ali summarizes the purpose of the book this way:

"Children want to understand why their loved ones behave a certain way. By encouraging communication between them and your loved one with Parkinson's disease, you are not only educating them, you are also bringing them closer together."



A. "Food News Blues" (Newsweek magazine, March 13, 2006, pages 44-55) discusses how what you eat affects your body, including your brain. The cover story of this issue is titled "Diet Hype. Confused? From Fat to Calcium, How the Media Collides with Science."

B. "Sleep Deprived" (Time magazine, March 13, 2006, page 66) discusses how lack of sleep affects reflexes in a flight simulator.

C. The cover story of the March 27, 2006, issue of Time magazine discusses how excessive use of digital media (e.g., e-mail, chat rooms, instant messages, file downloads) affects kids.

D. "How to Win the World Memory Championship" (Discover magazine, April, 2006). This issue of Discover also has an interview with Nobel Prize winning neuroscientist Dr. Eric Kandel.

E. "Freud is Not Dead" is the cover story of Newsweek magazine (March 27, 2006). This story discusses how the work of psychologist Sigmund Freud still interests the public.

F. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has published a 60-page booklet titled "Your Guide to Healthy Sleep." It is available for free on their web site (PDF format) or ordered online (for a small fee); see:

G. "Why Are Some Animals So Smart?" by Carel van Schaik (Scientific American, April, 2006) discusses the unusual behavior of orangutans.

H. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has published a new pamphlet called "Which Helmet for Which Activity" to help people select the appropriate helmets to protect their heads. The material is available in PDF format at:


A. You have probably experienced "deja vu" -- the feeling that something is familiar to you. Did you know that some people experience the feeling that something is unfamiliar? This is call "jamais vu." Other feelings that sometimes occur:

deja entendu = already heard
deja eprouve = already experienced
deja fait = already done
deja pense = already thought
deja raconte = already recounted
deja senti = already felt, smelt
deja su = already known (intellectually)
deja trouve = already found or met
deja vecu = already lived
deja voulu = already desired

B. Ancient Greek physician Artemidorus, who lived in the second century AD, was an early interpreter of dreams. (Source:

C. More than 1,700 US soldiers have suffered brain injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan since March 2003. (Source: Newsweek magazine, March 20, 2006, page 37.)

D. Richard Caton was the first to record electrical activity from the brain in 1875. In the 1920s, Hans Berger was the first to record a human electroencephalogram (EEG).

E. Zacharias Janssen invented the compound microscope in 1590.


To insure that Neuroscience for Kids stays available, we need your help. If you would like to contribute to the funding of Neuroscience for Kids, please visit:

Help Neuroscience for Kids


To remove yourself from this mailing list and stop your subscription to the Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter, send e-mail to Dr. Eric H. Chudler at:

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.