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. Neuroscience for Kids Page of the Month
3. Neuroscience for Kids CD is Ready
4. Book Review
5. Traveling Brain Exhibits
6. Summer Brain Activities
7. Media Alert
8. Treasure Trove of Brain Trivia
9. How to Stop Your Subscription
A. June Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
B. August NeuroCalendar
C. Brainy Icons for Your Computer Desktop
D. Monkeys Shed Light on the Nightlight Controversy
E. Bipolar Disorder
F. The Brain Adventure ("Mad-lib" game; requires Shockwave plug-in)
G. Jet Lag May Affect Your Brain
H. Alcohol and Tobacco Use in G-Rated Animated Movies
In June, 25 new figures were added and 41 pages were modified.
The Neuroscience for Kids "Page of the Month" for July is the "Animal Skull Collection" at:
The brain needs a home...your skull! DeLoy Roberts, a biology/zoology
teacher at Skyline High School in Idaho Falls, Idaho, has put together the
"Animal Skull Collection" web site with an amazing collection of skull
photographs. Mr. Roberts has more than 200 pictures of mammal, bird,
reptile, amphibian and fish skulls that can be used to learn about
comparative anatomy. There is also information about how to prepare
skulls for display. The real skulls are all on display at Skyline High
School. Mr. Roberts invites schools to visit the skull exhibit as long as
he gets a few day's notice.
Participation in the research project is voluntary and all names will be
kept confidential. If you are interested in receiving the CD and
participating in the study, please contact Dr. Chudler at: firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr. Eric
H. Chudler; Department of Anesthesiology; BOX 356540; University of
Washington; Seattle, WA 98195-6540.
Reading level: children and adults
Are you looking for a great book to read over the summer? Check out "Frightful's Mountain," a sequel to the classic "My Side of the Mountain." Frightful is a peregrine falcon who is imprinted on a human boy, Sam. The story is told from the falcon's perspective. Does that sound boring? It's not! The story of Frightful's survival when Sam goes back to town is full of peril and danger, new adventures and new experiences. I literally could not put the book down once I started reading it.
So what does a book about a falcon have to do with neuroscience? A great
deal, I discovered. A major theme of the book is bird migration. For
example, how do birds know when it is time to go south for the winter? The
book explores how the angle of sun above the earth affects the physical
responses in a bird's brain. A quote: "She took a reading on the sun's
rays, listened to her internal compass, and started south." Jean Craighead
George's understanding of zoology shines through on every page of the
book. The book got me so interested in questions about how bird brains
know when it is time to fly south that I picked up another book, "How Do
Birds Find their Way?" by Roma Gans. Typical of the Let's-Read-and-
Find-Out-Science series of which it is a part, the book is full of
information and pictures, and it answered a lot of my questions (as well
as raised some new ones!). Still, it didn't hold me on the edge of my
seat the way "Frightful's Mountain" did.
According to a press release, the exhibit will feature hands-on activities with seven major themes: 1) Your Dynamic Brain, 2) Lightning Storm, 3) Wired!, 4) A Hole in the Head, 5) The Living Brain, 6) Mystery of the Mind, and 7) Next Steps. With virtual reality, video games, and optical illusions, the exhibit is sure to be a fun way to explore the workings of the brain.
B. The Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, NJ, is hosting an exhibit
called "Exploring Human Memory" from May 19, 2001 through September 9,
2001. This exhibit of 35 hands-on activities was developed by the
Exploratorium in San Francisco. You can also catch the "Grossology"
exhibit that is also at the Science Center until September 9, 2001.
B. "A Mind for Consciousness," a profile of neurobiologist Christof Koch, in the July 2001 issue of Scientific American.
C. "The Serotonin Surprise," by Gary Greenberg, in the July 2001 issue of Discover magazine: Do antidepressants rewire the brain permanently?
D. "Still Not Out Of The Woods" in the June 25, 2001 issue of Time
Magazine: Antibiotics and Lyme disease.
B. The word "physician" comes from the Greek word "physis" meaning "nature."
C. For centuries, people thought that the heart, not the brain, was important for memory. The expression "memorize by heart" is derived from this old belief. Also, the word "record" comes from the Latin word for "heart."
D. The entire last name of the person for which Tourette Syndrome is named is Gilles de la Tourette. People dropped the "Gilles de la" and the disorder is known simply as "Tourette Syndrome."
E. Normal vision for people is 20/20. A hawk's vision is equivalent to
20/5. This means the hawk can see from 20 feet what most people can see
from 5 feet. (Scientific American, April 2001, page 24)
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.