Volume 17, Issue 11 (November, 2013)

Welcome to the Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter.

In this issue:

1. What's New at Neuroscience for Kids
2. Neuroscience for Kids Site of the Month
3. 2014 Neuroscience for Kids Writing Contest
4. 2014 University of Washington Brain Awareness Week Open House
5. Summer Research Opportunities for Undergraduate Students
6. Neuro-related Competitions
7. Brainy Gift Ideas
8. Free Book Giveaway
9. Media Alert
10. Treasure Trove of Brain Trivia
11. Support Neuroscience for Kids
12. How to Stop Your Subscription


Neuroscience for Kids had several new additions in October including:

A. October Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
B. How do Parasites Hijack their Host's Brains?
C. 2014 Neuroscience for Kids Writing Contest

In October, 4 new figures were added and 101 pages were modified.


The Neuroscience for Kids "Site of the Month" for November is the web site of Greg A. Dunn Designs at:

Greg Dunn received his PhD in neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania in 2011, but now devotes his time to painting. He blends Asian art with neuroscience to create beautiful images of neurons and the brain. Greg's web site has many examples of his work where he uses gold leaf, scrolls, prints and screens. Perhaps you can use Greg's work as inspiration for the next Neuroscience for Kids Drawing Contest.


The 2014 NEUROSCIENCE FOR KIDS POETRY WRITING CONTEST is now open to students in kindergarten through high school, college students, teachers and parents. Use your imagination to create a poem, limerick or haiku about the brain and you might win a prize. The complete set of rules and the official entry form for the contest are available at:

Here is a summary of the contest rules:

All poems, limericks and haiku must have at least THREE lines and CANNOT be longer than TEN lines. Material that is shorter than three lines or longer than ten lines will not be read. All material must have a neuroscience theme such as brain anatomy (a part of the brain), brain function (memory, language, emotions, movement, the senses, etc.), drug abuse or brain health (helmets, brain disorders, etc.). Be creative! Use your brain! Visit the Neuroscience for Kids pages for ideas and information!

- If you are a STUDENT IN KINDERGARTEN TO GRADE 2: write a poem in any style; it doesn't have to rhyme.

- If you are a STUDENT IN GRADE 3 TO GRADE 5: write a poem that rhymes. The rhymes can occur in any pattern. For example, lines one and two can rhyme, lines three and four can rhyme, and lines five and six can rhyme. Or use your imagination and create your own rhyming pattern.

- If you are a STUDENT IN GRADE 6 TO GRADE 8: write a brainy haiku (3 lines only). A haiku MUST use the following pattern: 5 syllables in the first line; 7 syllables in the second line; 5 syllables in the third line. Here is an example:

Three pounds of jelly wobbling around in my skull and it can do math

- If you are a STUDENT IN GRADE 9 TO GRADE 12: write a brainy limerick. A limerick has 5 lines: lines one, two and five rhyme with each other and have the same number of syllables; lines three and four rhyme with each other and have the same number of syllables. Here is an example of a limerick:

The brain is important, that's true,
For all things a person will do,
From reading to writing,
To skiing to biting,
It makes up the person who's you.

- If you are a COLLEGE STUDENT, TEACHER, PARENT OR ANYONE ELSE: write a rhyming poem that explains why it is important to learn about the brain.

Books or other prizes will be awarded to multiple winners in each category.

Other rules:

A. You must use an entry form for your writing and send it in using "regular mail." Entries that are sent by e-mail will NOT be accepted.

B. Only ONE entry per person. If you cannot download the entry form, let me know (e-mail: and I will send a form to you attached to an e-mail.

C. Students may enter by themselves or teachers may make copies of the entry form for their students and return completed entries in a single package. The contest is open to people from all countries.

Entries must be received by February 1, 2014!


Brain Awareness Week (BAW) is a yearly event to promote the public and personal benefits of brain research. As part of international BAW at the University of Washington, you are invited to an Open House on Tuesday, March 4, 2014.

The Brain Awareness Week Open House will include an interactive group assembly about the brain and hands-on exhibits that highlight different aspects of brain research. The Open House is scheduled for Tuesday, March 4, 2014, in the University of Washington Husky Union Building. Because of the high interest in the Open House and limited space available, we must restrict the number of people who can attend. Additional information (parking instructions, etc.) will be sent to the classes that are selected to attend.

For more information about UW BAW Open House, contact Dr. Eric H. Chudler (e-mail: or visit the UW BAW web page at:

If you would like to attend the Open House, please complete the online application located at:

Those teachers and classes selected to attend the Open House will be notified no later than February 1, 2014. Register early - space fills up quickly!


The Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE) is a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center with the mission "to develop innovative ways to connect a deep mathematical understanding of how biological systems acquire and process information with the design of effective devices that interact seamlessly with human beings."

As part of the CSNE education program, where I am the Executive Director, undergraduate students have the opportunity to join research laboratories during the summer of 2014 on the Seattle campus of the University of Washington. For more information, including requirements and application materials, please visit:


A. Design a Brain Experiment Competition

Do you know high school students fascinated by the brain? If you do, the Dana Foundation is holding a competition where U.S. high school students can compete for a chance to win cash prizes for their schools by designing an original brain-related experiment. Entries are due by Friday, January 17, 2014 and winners will be announced during Brain Awareness Week 2014. Submissions must test an idea about the brain, and topics can range from treatments for traumatic brain injury to the effects of television on early childhood brain development. Students should not complete their experiment, only design it, so be creative!

For competition guidelines, please see:

B. The Future Powered by Fiction Competition

The Future Powered By Fiction is a competition for people 13-25 years old. Contest submissions must be short stories, essays, comics or videos based upon one of the following themes: a) Earth & Beyond, b) The Future of Food, c) Smarter, Stronger, Faster, d) The City of Tomorrow, e) The Incredible Shrinking Computer or f) The Future of Your Mind. Neuroscience could easily fit into a few of these themes.

For full competition rules, see:

The submission deadline is November 14, 2013, so you still have two more weeks to send in an entry.


Are you looking for a special gift to give to a friend, teacher, or relative? Can't decide what to get? Why not give something brainy? Brainy gifts are great to say "Happy Holidays," "Happy New Year" and "Congratulations!" Here are some suggestions:

A. Brainy T-shirts, mugs, ties and other items from NEURO4KIDS.COM:

B. Books about the brain: for suggestions, see the Neuroscience for Kids Book Review page at:

C. Crafts: spend little or no money and create your own "brainy gift." The Neuroscience for Kids web site has many craft projects that you can turn into gifts. See:


Publisher W.W. Norton is giving away three copies of my book "The Little Book of Neuroscience Haiku" through There is still time to enter the book drawing:


A. "League of Denial" about the National Football League and brain injuries aired on PBS last month; see:

B. "Rewiring the Brain to Treat OCD" by Steve Volk (DISCOVER magazine, November, 2013).

C. "How the Freaky Octopus Can Help us Understand the Human Brain" by David Doubilet (WIRED magazine, October, 2013).

D. "Why the Brain Prefers Paper" by Ferris Jabr (SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, November, 2013).

E. "The Art of Memory" by Michael D. Lemonick (TIME magazine, November 4, 2013).

F. Listen to a radio interview (28 minutes) I had on October 31, 2013, with Mark Lynch of WICN (90.5FM) at:


A. During 2007-2010, 60.4% of U.S. adults aged 20 years or older slept 7-9 hours at night, 37.3% slept 6 hours or less, and 2.3% slept 10 hours or more. (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

B. In the United States, an estimated 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury each year. Of these people, 52,000 die and 275,000 are hospitalized. (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

C. 86,629 people are injured when they fall over cats and dogs. 20,397 of these injuries are to the head/neck. (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

D. The word "thalamus" comes from Latin meaning "inner chamber."

E. The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine went to one neuroscientist and two cell biologists (James E. Rothman, Randy W. Schekman and Thomas C. Sudhof) for their discovery about how molecules, including neurotransmitters, are transported within and between cells.


To ensure that Neuroscience for Kids stays available, we need your help. All contributions to Neuroscience for Kids are tax deductible (subject to IRS regulations). If you would like to donate to Neuroscience for Kids, please visit:

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.