Volume 11, Issue 3 (March, 2007)


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. Brain Awareness Week 2007
4. Neuroscience for Kids Drawing Contest - Results
5. Tetanus Shot
6. SfN Neuroscientist-Teacher Partner Travel Awards
7. Book Review
8. Media Alert
9. Treasure Trove of Brain Trivia
10. Support Neuroscience for Kids
11. How to Stop Your Subscription


Neuroscience for Kids had several new additions in February including:

A. February Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
B. Neuroscience for Kids Drawing Contest Results
In February, 8 new figures were added and 31 pages were modified.


The Neuroscience for Kids "Site of the Month" for March is "" at: is a collection of interactive, zoomable, high-resolution brain photographs. The photographs make an atlas that people can use to navigate through the brains. currently features photographs from humans, monkeys, cats, spiny anteaters, platypus, dogs, rats, mice, and barn owls. The brains are colored with different stains to illustrate certain features and some of the photographs are labeled with the names of particular structures.


International Brain Awareness Week (BAW) is this month from March 12-18. I hope you have plans. It may not be too late to find a neuroscientist to visit your class.

Here at the University of Washington, 400 students will attend the 10th annual BAW Open House on March 6. The Open House will feature hands-on, interactive exhibits sponsored by researchers and staff from various university departments and organizations. If you would like to share what you did during BAW, send me (e-mail: a summary of your activities and I will try to include it in a future issue of the Neuroscience for Kids newsletter.

Even if you cannot organize a brain fair or a classroom visit by a neuroscientist, you can still participate in BAW with some lessons about the brain and nervous system. Neuroscience for Kids has some "brainy" ideas for a day, a week or a whole month:


Judging of the 2007 NEUROSCIENCE FOR KIDS DRAWING CONTEST is finished and winners have been mailed their prizes. A total of 1,233 students from 31 states and 8 countries sent in poems. From the United States, poems arrived from Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. From outside the United States, students sent poems from Canada, India, Iceland, Croatia, Hong Kong, Switzerland and Kenya. You can see some of the winning drawings at:

To judge the contest, I viewed all 1,233 drawings and selected 20 finalists in each grade level (Kindergarten - grade 2; grade 3- grade 5; grade 6 - grade8; grade 9-grade 12). Winners were chosen by 22 judges (neuroscientists, graduate students, staff, one middle school student, one high school student).

Thank you to Charlesbridge Books, Capstone Press, Bridgestone Books, Compass Point Books, Picture Window Books and the Society for Neuroscience for donating prizes for the contest.


It had been about 10 years since my last tetanus shot, so I scheduled myself for a booster last month. Tetanus is a disease caused by the bacterium Clostridium tetani. Clostridium tetani produces a neurotoxin that attacks the peripheral and central nervous system. In the central nervous system, the neurotoxin affects neurons that inhibit other neurons. Therefore, muscles that are normally relaxed contract and people with tetanus have painful muscle spasms. The disease is very dangerous especially when it affects breathing. Tetanus is sometimes called "lockjaw" because the jaw muscles can become very tense.

Getting the tetanus shot did not hurt at all -- I didn't even feel the needle. However, my arm was a little sore two days later.

For more information about tetanus, see:


Are you a teacher who has engaged in a partnership with a scientist to bring neuroscience in to your classroom? Do you want to learn more about brain functions and disorders, and concepts such as dyslexia, stress, and exercise in the brain? If so, then you are eligible for a travel award that will support your attendance at the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) 37th annual meeting in San Diego, CA (November 3-7, 2007), the premier venue for cutting-edge neuroscience research.

The SfN Neuroscientist-Teacher Partner Travel Awards will grant ten neuroscientist-teacher partner pairs complimentary registration to the meeting, and a $1,000 stipend for each teacher to offset travel expenses. To apply for the award, teachers must demonstrate an established partnership with a scientist, and will need to describe their cooperative activities.


"Inside the Brain" by Eric H. Chudler, New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 2007, 128 pages [ISBN: 0791089444].

Every once in a while I get an email from someone asking when I will write a book about the brain. I am happy to say my book is finished and has been published by Chelsea House Publishing Company. The title of the book is "Inside Your Brain" and it is part of a book series called "Brain Works." Other books in the series (I am the series editor), by other authors, include "A Day in the Life of the Brain," "How the Brain Grows," "Seeing, Hearing, and Smelling the World" and "The Brain and Love."

I wrote the book as an introduction to the brain with many activities and demonstrations to help reinforce concepts about how the nervous system works. Chelsea House Publishing Company did a nice job summarizing "Inside Your Brain" as:

"Ideal for anyone interested in learning about the nervous system, this helpful "road map" of the brain explains various brain structures and pinpoints their locations and particular functions. Each chapter offers background information about a specific neuroscience topic, including the senses, sleep and dreaming, memory and learning, sidedness, and biological rhythms. The engaging experiments, games, and demonstrations help guide readers to an understanding of these concepts. The activities suggested meet national science education standards."



A. "Autism's Many Meanings" by Nancy Shute (US News and World Report, January 15, 2007) is an interview with Roy Richard Grinker, who has written a new book about how culture affects the perception of autism.

B. "The Time Is All in Your Mind" by Jerry Adler (Newsweek magazine, February 12, 2007) discusses how the brain keeps track of time.

C. The new Scientific American Mind magazine (February/March 2007) is on newsstands now; articles discuss happiness, making judgments, sleep, acupuncture and other brainy topics.

D. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has published a new booklet titled "The Science of Addiction." The booklet can be used with an HBO documentary called "Addiction" that will air on Thursday, March 15 from 9:00 to 10:30 p.m. ET/PT. "Addiction" is a 90-minute program, produced by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, NIDA, and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

Download the 36-page booklet from the NIDA Web site at:

E. The Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (TOPSS), a section of the American Psychology Association, will conduct a five-day Institute on Biopsychology for high school psychology teachers. The institute will be held July 22-27, 2007 at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. Teachers will hear from experts about the teaching of biopsychology. Approximately 30 high school teachers will be able to attend the Institute and the Institute will cover most expenses. For more information and application forms (application deadline, April 15, 2007), visit the TOPSS web site:

F. "Illusory Color and the Brain" (Scientific American, March, 2007) by John S. Werner, Baingio Pinna and Lothar Spillmann discusses how the brain perceives color, form and depth.

G. "Men and Depression" is the cover story of the February 26, 2007, issue of Newsweek magazine.

H. "An Unlikely Vision" by Carolyn Sayre (TIME magazine, March 5, 2007) discusses eye care in India and how some people who are blind recover some ability to see.

I. The 10th USA Memory Championship will be held on Saturday, March 10, 2007 in New York City. Participants will be tested on their ability to match names with faces and to remember words, numbers and cards.


A. March 12-18, 2007, is Brain Awareness Week!

B. The application of turtle brain mixed with honey was an ancient Egyptian remedy for a scar on the cornea of the eye. (Source: Edwards, D.D., Ophthalmology before Hippocrates, in Daniel M. Albert and Diane D. Edwards, eds., "The History of Ophthalmology," Cambridge (MA): Blackwell Science, 1996.)

C. Someone in the US dies of a stroke every THREE minutes. (Source: Neurology Now, November/December, 2006, page 17.)

D. "Astrocyte," a type of glial cell, comes from the Greek words meaning "star-like cell."

E. The pesticide strychnine blocks receptors for the neurotransmitter called glycine.


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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.