Volume 14, Issue 5 (May, 2010)

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. Neuroscience in Pictures
4. Science Festivals
5. To Read or Not to Read
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 April including:

A. April Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
B. Spring Signals Snakebites
C. NFL Gives $1 Million to Study Brain Injuries

In April, 9 new figures were added and 49 pages were modified.


The Neuroscience for Kids "Site of the Month" for May is "Go Cognitive" at:

"Go Cognitive," funded by the Idaho State Board of Education in 2008, is a collection of online demonstrations and videos that illustrate and discuss psychological and neurological concepts. The current demonstrations focus on memory, visual perception, and attention. The demonstrations use Shockwave Flash, so make sure your browser has the appropriate software. After playing with some of the demonstrations, go to the video section to watch some interviews with cognitive psychologists who their research. Each interview is about 15 minutes in length.


My office and lab are about 25 minutes from my house and I often listen to the radio on the drive to and from home. One day I heard that a woman was diagnosed with a benign tumor in her brain. I don't remember the patient's name, because I was paying attention to my driving, not to the details of the story. Also, when I heard the phrase "benign tumor," I immediately thought of pictures and other words that sounded like "benign tumor." I saw a picture of a bee, the number 9, the number 2 and the word "more": BEE + 9 + 2 + MORE.

I wondered if other people could understand this picture puzzle and thought of other neuroscientific words and phrases that could be illustrated with pictures. The result of this search is the Neuroscience for Kids "Brain Hieroglyphics" page where you try to unravel the pictures to discover a neuroscientific term, part of a neuron, or brain structure. Some of the puzzles are easy, but others require that you know your neuroanatomy!

See how many you can solve at:

And if you can think of other neuroscience words that could be turned into this type of puzzle, let me know (


Two major science festivals will be held this year. The first is the World Science Festival June 2 to June 6 in New York City. The 2009 festival had a great line up of events and activities, but unfortunately, the event schedule for the 2010 festival is not yet available. The World Science Festival Web site should have updates soon:

During the second festival, science invade the National Mall in Washington, D.C. during the first national science festival from October 10 to October 24, 2010. The USA Science and Engineering Festival will bring several hundred organizations to one place where they will share fun, hands-on activities and demonstrations for everyone to enjoy. In addition to the exhibits, the festival will have lectures, music, theater, films and other live entertainment. Some of the exhibits that focus on neuroscience include:

Understanding Physiology for PhUn | Are You Smarter Than A Monkey? | The Universe Between Your Ears: Explore Your Brain | Biosignals! Synchronizing Rhythms in the Human Body | Are You Smarter Than An Ape or a Dog? | Getting On Your Nerves | Fun With Illusions | The Wonders Inside Your Body and the Future of Medicine |What's in Your Head? |

You can get involved with the USA Science and Engineering Festival now by hosting an exhibit or event, becoming a Festival Partner, organizing a satellite event in your community, or volunteering. You can also enter several festival contests that are going on:

* Video Contest for K-12 Students: create a 30-90 second video telling why science is cool.

* Jingle Contest: create a song about the science festival.

* Rubik's Cube Tournament for K-12 students: teams compete to solve Rubik's Cubes.

For more information about the USA Science and Engineering Festival, see:


My local public library has a decent collection of books, but it has access to many more books from other county branch libraries. Library users can go online to browse the collection and then order books that are delivered to their local libraries. I am a big user of this service and I like to explore new subjects. Here is a list of a few of the books I have checked out of the library this year: "Do-it-yourself Brain Surgery and Other Implausibly Titled Books" by Joel Rickett.

"Don't Be Such a Scientist: Talking Substance in an Age of Style" by Randy Olson.

"50 High-impact, Low-care Garden Plants" by Tracy DiSabato-Aust

"Scholastic Dictionary of Idioms" by Marvin Terban

"The Spark: Igniting the Creative Fire that Lives Within Us All" by Lyn Heward

"Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know" by Alexandra Horowitz

"The Medicine Cabinet of Curiosities: an unconventional compendium of health facts and oddities from asthmatic mice to plants that can kill" by Nicholas Bakalar.

"The Great Big Book of Children's Games: over 450 indoor and outdoor games for kids" by Debra Wise

"Insect Museum: describing 114 species of insects and other arthropods, including their natural history and environment" by Sonia Dourlot

"Pills and Potions: a history of remedies" by Mary Atkinson

"Tibetan Phrasebook" by Andrew Bloomfield and Yanki Tshering

"Learn to Garden" by Guy Barter

"The A-Z of Creative Digital Photography" by Lee Frost
Libraries really do put the world at your fingertips!


A. A new Scientific American MIND (May, 2010) is on newsstands now. This issue of the magazine includes articles about differences in the brains of men and women.

B. The cover Scientific American (May, 2010) is called "From Your Cells to Stem Cells." Inside this issue is "Your Inner Healers: A Look into the Potential of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells" by Konrad Hochedlinger and also "Uncanny Sight in the Blind" by Beatrice de Gelder.

C. "The Secrets of Sleep" by D.T Max (National Geographic, May, 2010).

D. "How Our Brains Make Memories" by Greg Miller (Smithsonian magazine, May, 2010).


A. A total of 11 past presidents of the United States have suffered strokes ("brain attacks"). Of these 11 presidents, four had strokes while they were in office. (Reference: Jones, J.M. and Jones, J.L., Presidential stroke: United States presidents and cerebrovascular disease, CNS Spectr. 11:674-678, 2006.)

B. American composer and pianist George Gershwin died on July 11, 1937 soon after he had surgery to remove a tumor from the right temporal lobe of his brain. (Reference: Pearl, P.L., Neurological problems of jazz legends, J. Child Neurol. 24:1037-1042, 2009.)

C. May is Healthy Vision Month and this year's theme is "Your Eyes are the Windows to Your Health."

D. The word "anatomy" comes from the Greek words meaning "up" and "cutting." The word "physiology" comes from the Greek words meaning "study of nature."

E. Each eye of the seahorse can move independently.


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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.