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. 2007 AAN Neuroscience Research and Creativity Prizes
4. T. Rex Eyes: Better to See You
5. Smell Critic
6. Media Alert
7. Treasure Trove of Brain Trivia
8. Support Neuroscience for Kids
9. How to Stop Your Subscription
A. August Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
B. Going Batty in Houston - Rabies on the Rise
C. September Neurocalendar
D. October Neurocalendar
E. Escalators and Children
F. Nicotine in Cigarettes Goes Up
G. Printable copy of "Sam's Brainy Adventure" [PDF Format]
The online version of "Sam's Brainy Adventure" is located at:
In August, 7 new figures were added and 72 pages were modified.
"OR Live" invites you inside the operating room (the "O.R." )to see real brain surgery. The site currently has videos showing operations for a brain aneurysm, spinal cord problems, brain tumor, epilepsy (temporal lobectomy), and deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease. Just select the operation you want to watch from the long list on the site. The videos are available in "Real Player" and/or "Windows Media" formats.
CAUTION: "OR LIVE" is not for the squeamish! The videos show actual
surgery being performed.
For the Neuroscience Research Prize, three winners will each receive a $1,000 cash prize and an all-expense paid trip to present their projects at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (Boston, MA; April 28 - May 5, 2007). One additional winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize and all-expense paid trip to present his/her project at the Annual Meeting of the Child Neurology Society (Quebec City, Quebec, Canada; October 10 - October 13, 2007). Winners' teachers are also invited to the Annual Meeting, all expenses paid. Certificates are awarded during the Annual Meeting Awards Luncheon. To apply for the Neuroscience Research Prize go to:
For the Neuroscience Creativity Prize, five winners will each receive $100 and a $100 gift card for neuroscience books. Five finalists will each receive a $100 gift card for neuroscience books. To apply for the Neuroscience Creativity prize go to:
For additional information, rules and an application form for these Neuroscience Prizes, please contact Kelly Piatt at the American Academy of Neurology (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 651-695-2709).
The deadline for these applications is November 1, 2006.
Dr. Stevens built life-sized heads of dinosaurs to estimate the visual abilities of these extinct animals. He estimates that T. rex had excellent depth perception because this dinosaur had a large binocular range (the visual field that is overlapped by two eyes). T. rex also had huge eyes with diameters of 91 to 119 mm (~4 inches). By comparison, human eyes have a diameter of only 24.5 mm (~1 inch). Dr. Stevens calculates that T. rex could see distinct objects from a distance of 6 kilometers (~3.5 miles). By comparison, humans can see distinct objects from a maximum distance of only 1.6 km (1 mile). The visual acuity of T. rex vision is as much as 13 times better than that of people.
These data suggest that T. rex was not a scavenger as many scientists believe. Rather, with its excellent visual abilities, T. rex was likely a skillful hunter.
Reference: Stevens, K.A., Binocular vision in theropod dinosaurs, Journal
of Vertebrate Paleontology, 26: 321?330, 2006.
What's next? A touch critic who will evaluate the texture of fabric?
B. The cover story in the latest issue of Scientific American Mind is titled "The Teen Brain." Other stories in this issue include:
Coming to Attention | Should We Operate? | Diversity at Work | Natural High | Violent Pride | Turning Off Depression | Rise of the Modern Mind | Feeling Faint
C. "Not Just Child's Play" by Betsy Streisand (US News and World Report, August 14, 2006) describes how video games are being used to help people who are sick.
D. "How to Spot a Liar" by Jeffrey Kluger and Coco Masters (Time magazine, August 28, 2006) describes how new technologies (brain imaging, eye scans, facial expression analysis) are being used to detect lies.
E. Scientific American has published an on-line special issue titled "21st-Century Medicine" with articles about virtual-reality therapy, tissue engineering, pain control and stem cells.
F. "How Does the Teenage Brain Work" by Kendall Powell (Nature,
B. Near the threshold for hearing, the eardrum moves only 1,000,000th of an inch. (Source: Sataloff, R.T. and Sataloff, J. The nature of hearing loss, in Occupational Hearing Loss, 3rd edition, Boca Raton [FL]: CRC Press, 2006.)
C. The first surgical treatment of the seizure disorder epilepsy was in 1886. (Source: Kandel, E.R., Schwartz, J. H. and Jessell, T.M., Principles of Neural Science, New York: McGraw Hill, 2000.)
D. The first use of Phenobarbital, an anticonvulsant, was in 1912. (Source: Kandel, E.R., Schwartz, J. H. and Jessell, T.M., Principles of Neural Science, New York: McGraw Hill, 2000.)
E. Narcolepsy affects between 20-45 people per 100,000 in the US. (Source:
Kandel, E.R., Schwartz, J. H. and Jessell, T.M., Principles of Neural
Science, New York: McGraw Hill, 2000.)
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.