Volume 9, Issue 9 (September, 2005)


Welcome to the Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter.

Here is what you will find in this issue:

1. What's New at Neuroscience for Kids
2. Neuroscience for Kids Site of the Month
3. Neuroscientist Cards
4. August Meetings
5. American Academy of Neurology Prizes
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 August including:

A. August Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
B. Son of Football Hall of Famer Jim Kelly Dies of Krabbe Disease
C. Arsenic and King George III
D. New Treatment Option for Severe Depression

In August, 26 new figures were added and 91 pages were modified.


The Neuroscience for Kids "Site of the Month" for September is the "The Eyes Have It" at:

Developed by the San Diego Natural History Museum, "The Eyes Have It" web site provides an overview of the eye and vision. The site describes different types of animal eyes and the visual abilities of some animals (Bald Eagle, Bats, Californian Sea Lion, Gray Whale, Monarch Butterfly and Mountain Lion) found in Southern California. "The Eyes Have It" is not a huge web site, but it does provide enough information to stimulate your curiosity about the amazing sense of vision.


During the school year, I visit one or two local classrooms each month. Sometimes I give a presentation about the brain or participate in a science fair as a judge or presenter. When I arrived at one school for a science fair, all of the judges were given a small card. One side of my card had my photograph, my name and the field ("Neuroscience") that I work in. The other side of the card had some information about my research. The other judges were given cards of themselves. The students at the school had different scientist cards and I could see them trading the cards like postage stamps or baseball cards.

I have been thinking of ways to expand this "Scientist Card" idea. Here is one way you could make a collection of "Neuroscientist Cards."

A. Contact neuroscientists: you can find many neuroscientists interested in working with students and teachers through the Society for Neuroscience Committee on Neuroscience Literacy web site at:

University web sites also list the names and e-mail addresses of scientists who work in neuroscience, pharmacology, neurosurgery, biology, physiology, psychology, neurology and psychiatry departments.

Send the neuroscientists an e-mail explaining your project. Ask them if they can send you their name, job title, place of work (Department, University, City, State), where they went to school, and a very brief description (about two sentences) about the type of work they do. They may also have a photograph that you can use or a web site describing their research. Keep you request for information brief and to the point.

*** CAUTION *** Know the rules! Parents, teachers and schools may not allow students to give out personal information, even e-mail addresses, over the Internet. Get permission from parents and teachers before a scientist is contacted. Never give out home phone numbers and addresses. Teachers may want to be the contact for all communications between students and neuroscientists.

B. Research the neuroscientist: find out more about the neuroscientist by searching "Pubmed" at:

In Pubmed, enter the name of the neuroscientist to find research papers published by a scientist. You might count the number of papers published by each neuroscientist or note the journal where a scientist has published the most papers.

C. Make your cards: collect all of the information for each neuroscientist. Construct each card on a blank 3" x 5" index card or organize the information on your computer using a word processor (such as WORD) or image editor (such as Photoshop). One side of each card can have the photograph, name, title and place of work of a scientist. The other side of the card can be filled with other information about the scientist. Laminate the cards to make them durable.

D. Display the cards or trade them with other people.

E. Send a finished card to each neuroscientist with a thank you note!


Last month, I made two trips to speak with teachers about neuroscience. The University of Minnesota and the Science Museum of Minnesota organized the first meeting I attended in Minneapolis. For the past several years, these organizations have conducted a two-week "BrainU" program for teachers. BrainU provides teachers with resources and information about the latest brain research and methods for teaching this material to students. I spoke with the teachers about ways that they can spark student interest in neuroscience. The teachers also went into the computer lab to explore Internet neuroscience resources they could use with their students. For more about BrainU, see:

The second meeting I attended was held in Washington, D.C. before the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association (APA). This workshop was arranged by the Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (TOPSS) program of the APA. During my presentation, I spoke with teachers about ways to incorporate neuroscience into their psychology classes. The teachers were also treated with a presentation about conducting psychological research for science fairs by Dr. Allyson Weseley (Roslyn High School, Roslyn, NY) and Dr. Stephen Chew (Samford University, Birmingham, AL). To learn more about TOPSS and its activities, see:

Many teachers at both meetings have used "Neuroscience for Kids" with their students and were concerned about the future of the web site. Teachers at the TOPSS workshop mentioned that they might hold fundraisers for Neuroscience for Kids through their school Psychology Clubs. The creativity of teachers never ceases to amaze me!


The American Academy of Neurology, in partnership with the Child Neurology Society and the American Academy of Neurology Foundation, are now sponsoring the Neuroscience Research and Creativity Prizes for secondary school students (grades 9-12). The Neuroscience Research Prize encourages high school students to explore the world of the brain and nervous system through laboratory research. The Neuroscience Creativity Prize encourages high school students to be creative in their explorations of the brain and nervous system by demonstrating their knowledge of the scientific method. The objectives are to identify and reward high school students whose scientific skill and talent indicate potential for scientific contributions in the field of neuroscience and to recognize the efforts of science teachers who have demonstrated support for students interested in neuroscience.

For the Neuroscience Prize, three winners will each receive a $1,000 cash prize and an all-expense paid trip to present their projects at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (San Diego, CA; April 1-8, 2006). One additional winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize and an all-expense paid trip to present his/her project at the Annual Meeting of the Child Neurology Society (Pittsburgh, PA; October 18-October 21, 2006). Teachers of the winning students are also invited to the Annual Meeting, all expenses paid. Certificates will be awarded during the Annual Meeting Awards Luncheon.

For the Neuroscience Creativity Prize, five winners will each receive $100 and a $100 gift card for neuroscience books. Five finalists will each receive a $100 gift card for neuroscience books.

For additional information, rules and an application form for these Neuroscience Prizes, please contact Cheryl Alementi at the American Academy of Neurology (e-mail: or phone: 651-695-2737). The deadline for either application is November 1, 2005.


A. "Your Baby's Brain" is the cover story of the August 15, 2005, issue of Newsweek magazine.

B. The September 2005 issue of Discover magazine has several neuroscience-related articles including "Big Blue to Build a Brain," "Picturing Prions," "Finding the Right Word Odor," "Been There Done That," "Why Can't She Open Her Eyes" and "Bite of the Hobo Spider."

C. "The Mental Diet" by Alice Park (Time magazine, August 15, 2005) describes how the power of suggestion and false memories may help dieters.

D. "Mindful of Symbols" by Judy S. DeLoache (Scientific American, August 2005) describes how children learn that symbols can represent other things.

E. "In the Heat of the Night: An Assassin Bug's Sensory Journey" (Natural History, July-August, 2005) by Graciela Flores describes how the assassin bug finds a meal.


All trivia for this month come from the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse Report, "Serious Mental Illness Among Adults" at:

A. Mental disorders account for 4 of the 10 leading causes of disability in the United States.

B. In 2001, approximately 15 million Americans aged 18 or older were estimated to have a serious mental illness (SMI) during the past year.

C. Less than one half of adults with a serious mental illness received treatment or counseling during the past year.

D. Adults with a serious mental illness were more likely to smoke cigarettes or use an illicit drug during the past year compared with those without a serious mental illness.

E. Women (9%) were more likely than men (6%) to report having had an SMI within the past year.


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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.