Welcome to the Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter.
In this issue:
Neuroscience for Kids had several new additions in November including:
A. November Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
B. Neuroscience in the News
The Neuroscience for Kids "Site of the Month" for December is PLOS Neuro Community" at:
PLOS Neuro Community, a blog from The Public Library of Science, started in June 2014 to provide a place to share information about neuroscience research. The site is updated with new posts several times each month. The November 2016 posts describe new research presented at the Society for Neuroscience meeting as well as articles about art and emotion. For a humorous, brainy take on Thanksgiving, I suggest the November 21, 2016, article titled How to Give Thanks like a Neuroscientist.
Get out your pencils, pens and markers! The 2017 NEUROSCIENCE FOR KIDS DRAWING CONTEST is now open to students in kindergarten through high school, teachers and parents. Use your imagination to draw a picture about the nervous system and you might win a prize. The complete set of rules and the official entry form for the contest are available at:
Entries must be received by February 1, 2017.__________________________________________________________
Brain Awareness Week (BAW) is a yearly event to promote the public and personal benefits of brain research. As part of international BAW at the University of Washington, you are invited to an Open House on Monday, March 6, 2017, in the Husky Union Bldg. on the University of Washington Seattle Campus. The Brain Awareness Week Open House will include an interactive group assembly about the brain and hands-on exhibits that highlight different aspects of brain research.
Because of the high interest in the Open House and limited space available, we may restrict the number of people who can attend. Additional information (parking instructions, etc.) will be sent to the classes that are selected to attend. Teachers should complete an application form if they would like to bring their students to the open house; the application form is available online at:
Of course, you might not live in Seattle, so you will not be able to make it to the UW BAW Open House. For BAW activities around the world, visit the Dana Foundation BAW web site:
It is not too early to make summer plans, so if you want to participate in neuroscience research next summer, now is the time to apply. Here in Seattle at the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE), I am involved with several summer research programs for high school students, undergraduate students and secondary school science teachers:
Young Scholars Program (YSP): High school students are invited to apply to the YSP Reach program to dive into the world of neural engineering.
Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)/Research Experience for Veterans (REV): undergraduate students will participate in a 10-week summer research program in the laboratory of a CSNE faculty member. The program pays for a) travel to and from Seattle (or Boston or San Diego), b) housing for participants, and c) a stipend to support students during the summer. 2017 will be the sixth year of the REU/REV program.
Research Experience for Teachers: teachers will spend several weeks at the CSNE conducting research and developing new curricular materials and lessons.
Applications for these programs are available on the CSNE web site at:
Undergraduate students can also search for summer research opportunities around the United States through the NSF REU page at:
Other programs, such as the St. Louis Neuroscience Pipeline are also open to undergraduate students:
Are you looking for the perfect gift for your brainy friend, coworker or family member? Why not something from NEURO4KIDS.COM. T-shirts, mugs, clocks, bags, stickers, cards, bumper stickers, jewelry all with a brainy theme. Check it out at:
Last month I attended the 2016 Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego, CA. More than 30,000 neuroscientists from 80 countries were at this meeting to share their latest research. It was difficult to see everything at the meeting because there were approximately 14,000 poster presentations and hundreds of talks about all areas of brain research. There were also 557 companies at the meeting who marketed their latest products, programs and equipment.
I have been to many Society for Neuroscience meetings since the 1980s and have always wondered how far I walk from presentation to presentation throughout the meeting. This year I collected some data. I used an app on my phone to keep track of the distance I walked each day of the meeting; here are my results:
So, not only is the Society for Neuroscience meeting a good form of mental exercise (my brain learning about the brain), it is also good physical exercise which also helps my brain stay fit./p>
A. An Antiaddiction Drug Called Ibogaine Could Be a Wonder CureOr an Addict Killer by James Nestor, Scientific American (November, 2016).
B. How Bats Ping On the WingAnd Look Cute Doing It by Rachel E. Gross, Smithsonian Magazine (November, 2016).
C. The Beautiful Brain is a new museum exhibit with drawings from neuroscientist Santiago Ramon y Cajal (born: 1834; died 19XX). A total of 80 drawings will be on display along with new photographs, classic neuroscience books and scientific tools. The exhibit will visit only five galleries from January 2017 to April 2019:January 28 - May 21, 2017: Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN
For more information about the exhibit, see:
D. Mind Over Matter by Erik Vance, National Geographic (December, 2016).
All of this months brain trivia come from Office of the Surgeon General. Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, Washington, DC: US Dept. of Health and Human Services; November 2016. http://addiction.surgeongeneral.gov. Accessed November 17, 2016.
A. In 2015, 27.1 million people in the United States reported that they currently use illicit drugs or misuse prescription drugs.
B. In 2015, 66.7 million people reported binge drinking in the past month.
C. Alcohol misuse contributes to 88,000 deaths and costs $249 billion each year.
D. Illicit drug use costs $193 billion each year.
E. In 2014, 9,967 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents while driving under the influence of alcohol.
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.