Volume 9, Issue 4 (April, 2005)


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 Site
2. Neuroscience for Kids Site of the Month
3. Brain Awarenesss Week 2005
4. "Eye Didn't Know That" Exhibit
5. The Case of the Missing Nail
6. Media Alert
7. Treasure Trove of Brain Trivia
8. Support Neuroscience for Kids
9. How to Stop Your Subscription


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

A. March Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
B. US Supreme Court Rules NO Death Penalty for Juveniles
C. The Taste of Music
D. CPSC Warns of Lead Contamination in Jewelry...Again!
E. Sleepy Doctors Make Dangerous Drivers
F. Sleep Habits Around the World
G. Scratching the Surface of Tattoo Ink
H. Brain Hieroglyphics Game
I. 2005 University of Washington Brain Awareness Week Open House
J. New TV Filter Battles Pokemon Seizures
K. Elephants Learn New Vocal Tricks

In March, 29 new figures were added and 65 pages were modified.


The Neuroscience for Kids "Site of the Month" for March is "All in the Mind" at:

As host of the BBC Radio 4 program "All in the Mind," psychiatrist Dr. Raj Persaud examines the brain and mind by interviewing experts in the fields of neuroscience, psychology, neurology and psychiatry. You can listen to these radio shows dating back to 2002 through the "All in the Mind" web site. To hear the programs, you must have the free "Real Player" plug-in for your computer (

Dr. Persaud interviews a variety of clinicians and researchers as he explores neuroscience topics including mental illness, aging, biological clocks and emotions. Programs in March focused on happiness, management of violent behavior in psychiatric hospitals, the "10% of the brain" myth, memory and dementia. Links to organizations' and experts' web sites are provided for each topic.


Did you celebrate Brain Awareness Week (BAW) last month? Here at the University of Washington (UW), 310 students from local schools attended the BAW Open House. Students worked with hands-on exhibits set up by researchers, clinicians and staff from laboratories and other organizations. For example, the UW Department of Anesthesiology set up a transcranial Doppler machine so students could watch their brain blood flow and the UW EEG and Clinical Neurophysiology lab connected students to an EEG machine to record their brain waves. The Pacific Science Center and the UW Neurobiology and Behavior program set up several experiments to test students' sensory abilities. You can read about the Open House and see some pictures of the exhibits at:

I also visited several schools around Seattle to share my interest in the brain with students. Together we built neurons, explored reflexes and the senses and compared the brains of different animals.

If you would like to let others know how you celebrated BAW, send me (e-mail: a brief description of your event and I will try to publish it in next month's Neuroscience for Kids newsletter.


A new museum show called "Eye Didn't Know That" is now traveling around North America. This interactive exhibit about vision began its tour last month in Baltimore, Maryland, and will visit several more cities in 2005. Visit the exhibit web site for activities, games and facts about how we see and healthy vision:

The "Eye Didn't Know That" traveling museum will visit the following cities in 2005:

April 8-10, St. Paul, MN, Science Museum of Minnesota
April 15-17, Detroit, MI, Detroit Science Center
April 22-24, Cincinnati, OH, Cincinnati Museum Center
May 6-8, Seattle, WA, Pacific Science Center
May 13-15, Dallas, TX, The Science Place
May 27-30, San Jose, CA, The Tech Museum of Innovation
June 3-5, St. Louis, MO, St. Louis Science Center
June 17-19, Queens, NY, NY Hall of Science
July 15-17, Pittsburgh, PA, Carnegie Science Center
September, Vancouver, BC, Science World


A nine-yr-old boy and his older brother were playing with a homemade nail gun. When the gun misfired, the 9-yr-old lost consciousness for a few minutes. When the boy woke up, he had a sore, swollen cheek. Both boys were surprised because they couldn't find the nail.

Jump forward 22 years. The younger boy, who is now 31 years old, has been suffering from seizures for two years. An X-ray of the man's head shows exactly where the nail went -- into the temporal lobe of his brain! After doctors removed the nail, the man continued to have seizures. With medication, the seizures occurred only once every three months.

(Reference: Seo, D.W. and Chang, G.Y., Missing nail for 22 years, Neurology, 64:1066, 2005.)


A. "Social Lives of Rattlesnakes" by Rulan W. Clark (Natural History, March, 2005).

B. "His Oddly Stiff Walk" by John R. Pettinato (Discover magazine, April, 2005) describes how a patient is told by a neurologist that he has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease).

C. "The Gift of ADHD?" by Anne Underwood (Time magazine, March 14, 2005) discusses two new books that explore ADHD from a different perspective.

D. "Resetting The Brain" by Christine Gorman (Time magazine, March 21, 2005) discusses how transcranial magnetic stimulation may change personality.

E. "Prescription for Crime" by Rex Bowman (Time magazine, March 28, 2005) describes how illegal pills such as painkillers have started a crime wave in small towns.

F. "Cybersenses," a TV show about how technology is helping people hear and see, debuts on April 6, 2005, on the PBS series, Scientific American Frontiers.

G. "A Toxin Against Pain" by Gary Stix (Science American, April, 2005) describes how a marine snail toxin is being used to treat people who have chronic pain.


A phobia is an irrational fear or dread of a place, object, activity or situation. Phobias are fairly common and can affect anyone. Here are some well-known people and their fears:

A. Napoleon Bonaparte (French ruler) had ailurophobia, the fear of cats.

B. Donald Trump (billionaire) has chirophobia, the fear of shaking hands.

C. Howard Hughes (billionaire) had mysophobia, the fear of germs.

D. Andre Agassi (tennis player) has arachnophobia, the fear of spiders.

E. Cher (singer), Aretha Franklin (singer), John Madden (former football coach) and Whoopi Goldberg (comedian) all have aviophobia, the fear of flying.

(Reference: US News and World Report, December 6, 2004, page 761.)


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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.