Welcome to the Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter.
In this issue:1. What's New at Neuroscience for Kids
A. May Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
In May, 11 new figures were added and 62 pages were modified.
This month's Site of the Month selection is a "MOOC," a Massive Open
Online Course. The Neurobiology of Everyday Life is a free MOOC provided
by Coursera and taught by University of Chicago professor Dr. Peggy Mason.
This is an introductory class and no prior background in neuroscience is
needed. The current course has already started; let's hope they offer it
Reading Level: Middle school and up
About a year ago, a web site called "Neurocomic" was selected as the Neuroscience for Kids "Site of the Month." Now, Neurocomic is a comic book.
In "Neurocomic," authors Matteo Farinella and Hanna Ros tell the story of a man who is transported inside his own brain. In his journey to escape and get back outside, the man meets famous neuroscientists who explain the structure and function of the brain.
In chapter one, Morphology, the man meets neuroanatomist Santiago Ramon y Cajal who explains the structure of neurons. They are met by Camillo Golgi who starts an argument about how neurons are connected. When the man is swallowed by a neuron in chapter two, Pharmacology, he meets Charles Scott Sherrington who explains the synapse. Later on, the man is packaged into a vesicle by Bernard Katz and sent into the synaptic cleft where he meets several neurotransmitters and drugs that affect receptors.
Inside a neuron in chapter 3, Electrophysiology, the man meets Alan Hodgkin and Andrew Huxley who talk about how neurons generate electrical currents and send signals using action potentials. After escaping from inside a neuron, the man washes up on a beach where he meets Eric Kandel and they discuss memory and neuroplasticity (chapter four, Plasticity). They also meet up with Ivan Pavlov who demonstrates his work on conditioned responses.
The man continues his journey up a mountain in chapter 5, Synchronicity, and runs into Hans Berger, the first person to record human brain waves. Their discussions lead to questions about consciousness, perception and the location of the mind.
I highly recommend Neurocomic: it is a fun introduction to neuroscience
with plenty of interesting characters to keep readers engaged.
Date: Monday, June 16, 2014 Time: 7 pm Location: Kane Hall, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
This lecture kicks off the NeuroFutures 2014 conference and is brought to
you by the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering at the University of
Washington, the Allen Institute for Brain Science, Oregon Health & Science
University and the Northwest NeuroNeighborhood.
B. "The Neuroscience of Habits" by Ann M. Graybiel and Kyle S. Smith is the cover story of the June, 2014, issue of SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN.
C. "Electrify Your Mind" by Greg Miller (WIRED magazine, May 2014) describes home built ways people are using to electrically stimulate their brain.
D. "Brawn v Brain" by (THE ECONOMIST, May 31, 2014).
B. Using special hairs on its pincers, a scorpion can detect air moving at a speed of only 0.072 km/hr.
C. The total amount of caffeine in a can or bottle of an energy drink varies from about 80 to more than 500 milligrams (mg). A 5-ounce cup of coffee has about 100 mg of caffeine and a 12-ounce cola has about 50 mg of caffeine. (Source: The DAWN Report, SAMHSA, January 10, 2013.)
D. Wild beluga whales can hear frequencies between 4 kHz and 150 kHz (Castellote, M., et al., Baseline hearing abilities and variability in wild beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas), J. Exper. Biology, 217: 1682-1691, 2014.)
E. A tonometer is an instrument used by eye care professionals to measure
the intraocular pressure of the eye.
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.