Welcome to the Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter.
In this issue:1. What's New at Neuroscience for Kids
A. January Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
B. Malathion Contaminates Food in Japan
C. March and April NeuroCalendars
In January, 3 new figures were added and 20 pages were modified.
"Knowing Neurons" calls itself a website about neuroscience for college students and the general public. The articles on the site, written by graduate students and post-doctoral researchers, are a bit text heavy, but also contain colorful drawings and photographs to illustrate concepts.
There are two ways to navigate through the site. A vertical menu has options related to neuroscientific concepts such as brain basics, brain development, sleep, aging, learning and memory, and movement. A horizontal menu sends you to content related to neuroscience news, popular articles, and information about the site.
Although intended for college students, Knowing Neurons should be useful
to anyone interested in learning more about neuroscience.
Reading Level: Grades K-3
"Inside the Brain" is a new entry in the Super Simple Body book series by
the ABDO Publishing Company. Author Karin Halvorson takes on the brain by
with easy to understand chapters about the senses, nerves, reflexes,
involuntary responses, balance, thought, emotion and personality. Some of
the topics have experiments and demonstrations to reinforce concepts such
as the blink reflex, knee jerk reflex, Stroop effect, and a brain cap.
Unfortunately, the book also contains some errors and misconceptions.
For example, Halvorson states that the adult brain is about the size of a
grapefruit. I have never seen a three pound grapefruit! Grapefruits
weigh about 0.5 lb and the brain weighs about 3.0 lb. Readers learn
correctly that everyone uses both sides of their brain, but then readers
are asked to find out if they are "right-brained" or "left-brained."
Nevertheless, with the many bright and colorful images and simple
explanations, "Inside the Brain" is sure to appeal to young scientists.
Show your BRAINY spirit for BAW:
The 2014 "Bloomin' Brains" neuroscience summer day camp will be held on the University of Washington campus July 21-24 from 9 am to 3 pm each day, and supervised by teachers, graduate students, undergraduates and UW faculty. Parents are responsible for providing transportation to and from campus and for providing sack lunches. Campers will have the opportunity to:
- Conduct hands-on science experiments
- Learn about traditional uses of medicinal plants in Native cultures
- Explore the structure and function of the brain
- Visit the Burke Museum, UW Botany Greenhouse, and Medicinal Herb Garden
- Listen to real scientists talk about their careers
- Discover "the art of the brain" by constructing models
- Make a plant extract and tie-dye a shirt
- Research neuroscience at the UW computer lab
For more information about the camp and the application form, please visit:
Discover how much fun science can be!
B. "Mapping the Brain" discussion with Christof Koch, John Donoghue and Carl Zimmer at the National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C., on February 18, 2014. Tickets start at $24.
C. The February 2014 issue of SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN has the articles "Why Gaming Could Be the Future of Education," "Should We Use Devices to Make Us Smarter?," "The Discovery of Super Memories," and "The Startling Intelligence of the Common Chicken."
D. "Braingames" is an Emmy nominated series on the National Geographic Channel on Mondays at 9:00 p.m. The new season features interactive illusions, challenges, and experiments that showcase the extraordinary nature of the human brain. See:
E. A new issue of SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN MIND is now available with articles
about autism, intelligence, traumatic brain injury and adult ADHD.
B. The Northern Short-Tailed Shrew (Blarina brevicauda) is North America's only venomous mammal. This animal produces a neurotoxin in its salivary glands that is used to paralyze prey. (Source: Reichl, F.-X. and Ritter, L., Illustrated Handbook of Toxicology, New York: Thieme New York, 2011.)
C. A 2001 postage stamp from Angola has a picture of neuroscientist Ramon y Cajal, but incorrectly labels the picture as neuroscientist Camillo Golgi. (Source: Triarhou, L. and del Cerro, M., Ramon y Cajal Erroneously Identified as Camillo Golgi on a Souvenir Postage Stamp, J. History of the Neurosciences, 21:132-138, 2012.)
D. 10% of the mouse cerebral cortex is involved with vision; 50% of the macaque monkey cerebral cortex is involved with vision. (Source: Baker, M., Through the eyes of a mouse, Nature, 502:156-158, 2013.)
E. There are 200,000 neurons in primary visual cortex of the mouse and
300,000,000 neurons in primary visual cortex of the macaque monkey.
(Source: Baker, M., Through the eyes of a mouse, Nature, 502:156-158,
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.