Volume 16, Issue 7 (July, 2012)

In this issue:

1. What's New at Neuroscience for Kids
2. Neuroscience for Kids Site of the Month
3. Summer Neuroscience Research
4. Wellcome Image Awards
5. Too Hot To Handle
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 June including:

A. June Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
B. A Pocketbook Full of Lead

In June, 2 new figures were added and 22 pages were modified.


The Neuroscience for Kids "Site of the Month" for July is "Easy-to-Read Drug Facts" at:

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recently launched this new web site with information about drug abuse, addiction, and drug abuse treatment. The site is divided into five main sections: A) Drugs that People Abuse; B) What is Addiction; C) Effects of Drugs; D) Recovery & Treatment and E) Prevent Drug Abuse. Many photographs, images and videos throughout the site help people understand concepts about drug abuse.


Last month, 15 students from around the country arrived in Seattle to take part in a summer research program at the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE). As the Executive Director of the CSNE, I help the CSNE education manager coordinate this summer program. For 10 weeks, the students work in labs, attend classes about scientific communication, and participate in seminars. At the end of the summer, the students will present their work to the University of Washington research community. Not only do the students receive free housing on the campus of the University of Washington, they also receive a $5,000 stipend. Not a bad way to spend the summer!

For this year's program, 70 students applied for admission, but we had space for only 15 students. One of the admitted students heard about the summer program in a previous issue of the Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter. In fact, this student has been receiving the Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter since she was in eighth grade. This student will be a sophomore at a university in New York and the CSNE program is a great way for her to experience laboratory research.


A photograph of the surface of the human brain was the "Overall Winner" of the 2012 Wellcome Image Award contest. Robert Ludlow, from the University College of London Institute of Neurology, took the photo during a procedure to record neural activity from the brain. The image shows the exposed surface of the brain with its arteries and veins. You can see this winning image and other judges' favorites at:


The recent heat wave throughout much of the United States reminds me that it is a good time to remind everyone to avoid heat-related problems. Hot weather can cause a failure of the body's heat-regulating system. This failure can result in abnormally high body temperatures or "hyperthermia."

Symptoms of hyperthermia include sudden dizziness, heat cramps (muscle pain), heat exhaustion (feeling weak), ankle swelling and even heat stroke (fainting, sweat changes, changes in pulse rate). Heat stroke is a life-threatening medical emergency! The National Institute of Aging suggests that if think someone is suffering from a heat-related illness, then you should:

* Call 911 if you suspect a heat stroke.

* Get the person out of the heat and into a shady, air-conditioned or other cool place. Urge them to lie down.

* Encourage the individual to shower, bathe or sponge off with cool water.

* Apply a cold, wet cloth to the wrists, neck, armpits, and/or groin.

* If the person can swallow safely, offer fluids such as water, fruit and vegetable juices, but avoid alcohol and caffeine.

For more information about hyperthermia, see:


A. The July 2012 issue of Scientific American MIND is on newsstands now. Articles in this issue include "Your Creative Brain at Work" by Evangelia G. Chrysikou and "Microbes on Your Mind" by Moheb Costandi.

B. The July 2012 issue of SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN has "The Rat That Laughed" by Jesse Bering and "Machines That Think for Themselves" by Yaser S. Abu-Mostafa.

C. DISCOVER magazine (Spring, 2012) has a new special issue called "The Brain" with articles about artificial intelligence, Alzheimer's disease, and emotions.

D. "The Humans With Super Human Vision" by Veronique Greenwood and "5 Ways to Leave Your Body" by Sherry Baker appear in the July-August 2012, issue of DISCOVER magazine.

E. Several interesting articles in the July-August 2012 issue of AMERICAN SCIENTIST including "Vocal Matching in Animals" by Kendra Sewall, "Acquiring Literacy Naturally" by Dominic Massaro and "100 Reasons to Become a Scientist or Engineer" by the magazine editors.


A. Hibernating arctic ground squirrels can drop their core body temperatures as low as -2.9 degrees centigrade; and they don't freeze. (Source: Barnes, B.M., Freeze avoidance in a mammal: body temperatures below 0oC in an arctic hibernator, Science, 244:1593-1595, 1989)

B. The Bicycle Retailer and Industry News publication uses the acronym "BRAIN."

C. Last month, singer Sheryl Crow was diagnosed with a brain tumor called a meningioma. These tumors occur in the meninges, the tissues that surround the brain. For more information about meningiomas, see:

D. In a recent survey of 337 high school students, researchers found that only 59% of students agreed with the statement "Learning is due to changes in the brain." Only 41% of the students agreed with the statement "Connections between cells in your brain change when you learn something." (Source: Fulop, R.M. and Tanner, K.D., Investigating high school students conceptualizations of the biological basis of learning, Adv. Physiol. Educ. 36:131-142, 2012)

E. The more than 1,000 disorders of the nervous system result in a greater number of hospitalizations than any other disease group, including diseases of the heart and cancer. (Source: Brain Facts, Society for Neuroscience, Washington, D.C., 2012.)


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Help Neuroscience for Kids


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.