Volume 13, Issue 7 (July, 2009)

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. New Concussion Law
4. Remember It
5. Media Alert
6. Treasure Trove of Brain Trivia
7. Summer Email Changes
8. Support Neuroscience for Kids
9. How to Stop Your Subscription


Neuroscience for Kids had several new additions in June including:

A. June Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
B. September, October, November and December NeuroCalendars
C. Alcohol, Energy Drinks, Breath Testing
D. Cold Medicines May Cause Loss of the Sense of Smell
E. Medication Approved for Migraine in Kids

In June, 7 new figures were added and 48 pages were modified.



The Neuroscience for Kids "Site of the Month" for July is "Genes to Cognition Online (G2C Online)" at:

G2C Online is a huge storehouse of information about the nervous system. The site spans the topics of genes, biochemicals, cells, brain anatomy, cognition and the environment as it explores neurological and mental disorders. However, the structure of the Web site might make it a little difficult for you to get around and find what you want.

When you enter G2C Online, you will find the site divided into several sections. The top of the page lists a variety of disorders, cognitive processes and research approaches. If you click on one of these topics, a panel will open with a brief description of the topic. This panel appears below a pathway and in front of floating bubbles (the network map). If you click on one of the circles in the pathway, you can see a video, an animation, an essay or interactive illustration about the topic. Additional related resources will appear on the right side of the display. For teachers, there is a special "Teacher Feature" area with classroom-related materials ready to download in PDF format. Click on "Main Menu" to get you back to the main Web page.

G2C Online was produced by the Dolan DNA Learning Center of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and supported by the Dana Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.



Earlier this year in my home state of Washington, the Zackery Lystedt law was passed to protect the brains of young athletes. The new law states that youth athletes who are suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury in a practice or game must be removed from the activity immediately. Also, any youth athlete who has been removed from play for this reason must receive written clearance from a health care provider to return to play.

The law was named after Zachery Lystedt, a 16-year-old football player from Maple Valley, WA, who suffered a life-threatening brain injury in 2006 after he returned to play football after he suffered a concussion. Zachery's injury occurred after he made a tackle during a game. He sat out for a short time, but returned to the game in the fourth quarter. After the game he collapsed, was in a coma for several months and had to have two emergency brain surgeries. Zachery still needs a wheelchair and intensive therapy.

Let's hope the new law draws attention to the seriousness of concussions and protects young brains from injury.

For more information about the new law, see:

Washington State Law:

Neuroscience for Kids articles about concussions:



One section of the Neuroscience for Kids Web site describes some tips to help memorize information. On a trip last month to Washington, D.C., I decided to use some of these ideas.

Before my flight, I received an electronic ticket with a special six-letter code: HQGTZY. This code would allow me to check flight information and print out a boarding pass before I got to the airport. I wanted to memorize this code in case I did not have the code with me. It is not too difficult to memorize six letters, but I wanted something that I would not forget. What would you do to memorize these six random letters?

Here is what I did. First, I combined the six letters into two-letter chunks: HQ, GT and ZY. Then I gave a word to each chunk to make a sentence, so HQ became "headquarters," GT became "got" and ZY became "zygotes." The sentence, therefore, was "HeadQuarters GoT ZYgotes." Of course, it was a nonsense sentence, but it was something that was easy to remember.

I used my nonsense sentence on my return trip. As I walked through the lobby of my hotel in Washington, D.C., I noticed a computer terminal that printed boarding passes. I just strolled up to the computer, typed my name and HQGTZY (remembering "HeadQuarters GoT ZYgotes"), and out came my boarding pass!

For more memory tips and tricks, see:



A. "How to See Inside a Brain in Motion" by Eliza Strickland and "Can a Single Neuron Tell Halle Berry From Grandma Esther?" by Carl Zimmer (Discover magazine, June 2009).

B. "Evolutionary Origins of Your Right and Left Brain" by Peter F. MacNeilage, Lesley J. Rogers and Giorgio Vallortigara (Scientific American, July 2009).

C. "A Walk in the Dark" by Phil Taylor (Sports Illustrated, June 8, 2009) discusses how Alzheimier's disease has affected Robert Jeangera, a former basketball player who earned a gold medal at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia.



A. Nobel Prize winner and neuroscientist Roger Sperry captained his basketball team and set a state record in the javelin throw while a student at Hall High School in West Hartford (CT). (Source:

B. The brain of Russian poet and novelist Sergeyevitch Turgenev weighed 2,012 grams. (Source: Finger, S., Origins of Neuroscience. A History of Explorations into Brain Function, New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.)

C. July is Eye Injury Prevention Month!

D. The word "ambidextrous," meaning that both hands can be used with equal skill and comes from the Latin words that mean "both right-handed." The opposite of ambidextrous is "ambisinistrous," meaning clumsy, comes from the Latin words that mean "having two left hands."

E. Acetylcholine was the first neurotransmitter ever identified. (Source: Brain Facts, Society for Neuroscience, Washington, DC, 2008)


Will you be away from school or work and unable to read your e-mail during the summer? Will you be changing e-mail addresses when school starts in August or September? Do you still want to receive the Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter? If you will not be able to receive e-mail over the summer or if you will be changing your email address, make sure that you let me know (e-mail: where to send the newsletter. If my e-mail to you bounces back to me because it could not be delivered, your e-mail address will be removed from the mailing list. If this happens to you, just send me an e-mail to resubscribe. Have a good summer!


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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.