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
A. February Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
B. Things to Make ("Enjoy Your Vacation" Greeting Card and Brain Awareness Week Bookmark)
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
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.
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
(firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will try to highlight your event in the
next Neuroscience for Kids newsletter.
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.
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
I have built several quizzes using the Quiz Creator. Examples of these quizzes on the Neuroscience for Kids pages can be seen at:
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.)
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.