Volume 3, Issue 3 (March, 1999)


Welcome to the Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter.

Here is what you will find in this issue:

1. What's New on the Neuroscience for Kids Web Pages
2. The Neuroscience for Kids Page of the Month
3. Brain Awareness Week
4. Book Review
5. Media Alert
6. Cool Tool
7. Treasure Trove of Brain Trivia
8. What's Coming Up In Future Issues
9. How to Stop Your Subscription


Neuroscience for Kids had several new additions in February. Here are some of them:

A. February Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
B. Things to Make ("Enjoy Your Vacation" Greeting Card and Brain Awareness Week Bookmark)
C. Heroin
D. Chocolate and the Nervous System
E. "It's Brain Awareness Week!" Greeting Card
F. March NeuroCalendar
G. Successful Science Fair Projects
H. Bird Brains: Sleeping One Half at a Time

Many newsletter readers have said that they enjoy the "Did You Know?" features within the Neuroscience for Kids pages. The "Did You Know?" features are short paragraphs with surprising information about a particular topic. Because of the interest in this feature, I recently added many more "Did You Know?" paragraphs throughout the web site.

In February, 78 new figures were added and 66 pages were modified.


The Neuroscience for Kids "Page of the Month" for March is the Whole Brain Atlas at:

The Whole Brain Atlas (WBA) should be on everyone's favorite list of brain sites. The WBA is a library of images of normal and abnormal human brains created by Keith A. Johnson and J. Alex Becker and sponsored by the Departments of Radiology and Neurology at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, the Countway Library of Medicine, and the American Academy of Neurology. Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) techniques, the developers of this site have created a catalog of human brain images.

The brain images on the WBA are not just static pictures - they are interactive. By clicking on different parts of a scale line, you can view the brain in different planes. There are examples of brain disorders including Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, and Creutzfeld-Jakob disease.

So next time you take a trip - a trip through the brain - navigate your way with the Whole Brain Atlas.


It's finally here - BRAIN AWARENESS WEEK! I hope you have plans for yourself and your school. The official BAW is March 15-21, but anytime in March is a good time to celebrate the workings of the brain. There are many BAW activities in the Seattle area: public lectures, bookstore and library displays, visits to classrooms and a University of Washington BAW Open House. The response to these events has been overwhelming. Thirty-six teachers have requested a visit by a University of Washington (UW) neuroscientist and almost 800 students want to attend the Open House. Unfortunately, because space is limited, only 320 students could be invited.

The UW Open House on March 17 should be one of the highlights of BAW for many students in Seattle. Students will start with a "Brain Power" Assembly produced by the Pacific Science Center/Group Health Cooperative Brain Power Team. After the assembly, students will go to an exhibit area with interactive, hands-on activities developed by various organizations and UW departments. For example, a transcranial Doppler machine will measure students' brain blood flow and electroencephalographs will record students' brain waves.

For students who cannot come to the Open House, the Pacific Science Center in Seattle will have a "Brain Day" on March 15. This event is open to the public. The Pacific Science Center will feature the Brain Power interactive exhibits, the Brain Games program, illusion demonstrations, a cow eye dissection cart and a skull cart. I will also set up a display with sensory experiments, visual illusions, skull and brain specimens, a computer demonstration, a "neuron wall" and other "brainy" activities.

For information on many of the BAW activities in the Seattle area, see:

I would be interested to hear what you have planned for BAW. Write to me ( and I will try to highlight your event in the next Neuroscience for Kids newsletter.

4. Book Review

I have a mixed review for a series of books on drugs published by "The Drug Library" (Enslow Publishers, Inc). These books provide overviews of commonly abused drugs including cocaine, heroin, marijuana, alcohol, LSD, nicotine, inhalants, PCP, and steroids.

The books are intended for middle school students and provide extensive historical background on each drug. There are also sections on the behavioral effects and dangers of drug use, treatment of various addictions, and the legal consequences of using and possessing drugs. However, the books lack detail on how the drugs affect the nervous system. Also, the authors rely heavily on second-hand sources for information, such as newspaper and magazine articles, rather than science publications. Nevertheless, these books provide a good introduction to the basic behavioral and legal consequences of drug abuse.


Do you or your library have a subscription to the magazine called "Science Scope?" If you are a student, your teacher may subscribe to this magazine. "Science Scope" is a magazine published by the National Science Teachers Association for middle school science teachers. The March 1999 issue will feature articles on informal science education. This issue will carry a story I wrote about last year's Brain Awareness Week Open House at the University of Washington. It just happens that the issue will be published during the same month as Brain Awareness Week. What luck!

Newsweek magazine (February 15, 1999) published a cover story titled "Drugs & Sport." This article discusses the effects and dangers of using stimulants and hormones and how these drugs influence athletic performance.


Do you want to add more "spice" to your web page? Perhaps you are a student working on a web page for a class project or a teacher developing a web page for your class. Anyone can add more interactivity to a web page with a free on-line tool called the "Quiz Creator." The Quiz Creator is a simple to use program that makes multiple choice and true/false quizzes for web pages.

To create a quiz, just type in your questions and answers in the space provided by the program. The Quiz Creator creates the code based on how you want the quiz set up. You can specify the number of questions and possible answers. You also select from buttons, pull-down menus, or text fields for the answers. To get the code, just click on the "see the code below" button and the entire JavaScript code is displayed for you. Just highlight this code, add it to your clipboard, then paste it to a web page file. All of the HTML is added automatically! The quiz is ready to go!

I have built several quizzes using the Quiz Creator. Examples of these quizzes on the Neuroscience for Kids pages can be seen at:


A. Each year in the United States, about 200,000 people require hospitalization for head injury and 52,000 people die due to head injuries. Another 1.74 million people have mild traumatic brain injury that requires them to visit a doctor or disables them for at least one day. (Statistics from "Traumatic Brain Injury", edited by D.W. Marion, 1999, page 9 and 11.)

B. Caffeine is on the International Olympic Committee list of prohibited substances. Athletes who test positive for more than 12 micrograms of caffeine per milliliter of urine may be banned from the Olympic Games. This level of caffeine may be reached by drinking 4 or 5 cups of coffee.

C. Fevers are controlled by the part of the brain called the hypothalamus. The highest body temperature ever recorded was 115 degrees F (46.1 degrees C.) Body temperatures of 109 degrees F (42.8 degrees C) can be fatal. (Statistic from Prevention's Giant Book of Health Facts, 1991.)

D. There are about 300 million neurons in the octopus brain. (The human brain has about 86 billion neurons.)

E. The human cerebellum weighs about 150 grams. (Total brain weight is about 1,400 grams.)


A. What's new to the pages. I will let you know what new features have been added in March.
B. A new Neuroscience for Kids "Page of the Month."
C. Some of the pages I am currently working on are:
A Virtual Neuroscience Laboratory
AVI "movies"
Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's Disease, Tourette Syndrome


To remove yourself from this mailing list and stop your subscription to the Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter, send e-mail to Dr. Eric H. Chudler at:


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.

"Neuroscience for Kids" is supported by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the National Center of Research Resources.