In this issue:
A. June Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
B. Beware of Lead in American Girl Jewelry
In June, 2 new figures were added and 15 pages were modified.
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has 145,000 members whose mission is to help people with communication problems and to study communication science. The ASHA Web site is a great resource not only for professional scientists and clinicians, but also for students and teachers.
Start your exploration of the ASHA Web site by clicking "The Public" on the left side of the opening page. This will bring you to an "Information for the Public" page where you can learn about hearing and balance and some of the disorders associated with these senses. The "Disorders and Diseases" link will bring you to pages that describe various speech problems, many caused by brain disorders, such as apraxia, aphasia and stroke.
If you are interested in a career in communication sciences and disorders and want more information, go back to main entry page of the Web site and click on the "Students" link on the left side. This link will bring you to a page with advice about different jobs in the field. A special section for high school students explains what is needed to pursue a career in this area.
Although some parts of the ASHA Web site are for members only, the site
has much to offer everyone including free online issues of the "ASHA
Leader" newspaper dating back to 1999.
During my presentations, I speak about the anatomy of the brain, the functions of the brain, how to protect the brain, and ways that the brain can be fooled. At the end of my presentations, I always leave time for the students to ask questions. I've found that elementary, middle and high school students have very different types of questions for me.
Often when it is time to ask questions, elementary school students don't ask questions at all. Instead, they tell a story. These stories often start with, "One time I was with my friend..." When these young kids do ask questions, they usually want to know about something that happened to themselves, their friends or their families. Middle school kids often ask questions about sleep and drugs that affect the brain. These students sometimes have misconceptions about how the brain works and I take time clear things up. High school students, especially those in advanced biology classes, want to know how to become a neuroscientist and are curious about the type of classes they should take in high school and what colleges they should attend. Older students also want to know how much money scientists can earn.
All of these students' questions are fair and I answer all of them
honestly as best as I can. Sometimes I do not have a good response to a
student's question because science has not yet provided a satisfactory
answer. For example, if a student asks the seemly simple question, "Why
do we dream and what do they mean?", I can provide a few theories, but no
definitely correct answer. These open questions are great opportunities
to encourage students to get into science: perhaps they will be the ones
who will find answers to their own questions.
Unfortunately, two celebrities made headlines last month because of their
battle with neurological problems. Saxophone player Clarence Clemons
passed away after he suffered a stroke on June 12 and singer Glenn
Campbell announced in People magazine that he has been diagnosed with
Learn more about the Knit a Neuron project and get patterns and instructions to make your own knitted neurons at:
B. "Color-Fest" at the Exploratorium (San Francisco, CA) is now open through September 5.
C. The cover story of the July, 2011, issue of Scientific American is "The Physics of Intelligence" with an inside article "The Limits of Intelligence" by Douglas Fox. This magazine also has the articles titled "Science of a Human: The Battle against Mosquitoes" by John R. Carlson and Allison F. Carey and "Evolution of the Eye" by Trevor D. Lamb.
D. In the July, 2011, National Geographic magazine, you can find "40 Winks" with a table showing the amount of time different animals sleep each day and "New Looks at the Brain" that describes a new imaging method to look at the brain.
E. The July, 2011, issue of Scientific American MIND magazine is on
newsstands now. The magazine includes the articles "Baby Power," "How
Dads Develop," "Pop Star Psychology," "Thinking By Design," "The Bilingual
Advantage," "Strain on the Brain," and "Outsmarting Mortality."
B. "Venti"-sized brewed coffee at Starbucks contains 415 mg of caffeine; a maximum strength "No-Doz" pill has only 200 mg of caffeine. (Starbucks' caffeine statistic from a Starbucks Co. pamphlet.)
C. In 2008, headaches were the first-listed diagnosis for over 3 million emergency department (ED) visits (comprising 2.4 percent of all ED visits) and 81,000 inpatient stays (comprising 0.2 percent of all inpatient stays). (Source: Lucado, J., Paez, K., Elixhauser, A. Headaches in U.S. Hospitals and Emergency Departments, 2008, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. May, 2011.)
D. In 2008, migraines were the most common type of headache associated with inpatient stays, comprising 63.1 percent of all hospital stays with headache as a first-listed diagnosis. (Source: Lucado, J., Paez, K., Elixhauser, A. Headaches in U.S. Hospitals and Emergency Departments, 2008, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. May, 2011.)
E. In 2000, an estimated 3.4 million U.S. residents aged older than 40
years were blind or visually impaired (The Eye Diseases Prevalence
Research Group. Causes and prevalence of visual impairment among adults in
the United States. Arch Ophthalmol., 122:477-485, 2004.)
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.