Welcome to the Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter.
In this issue:1. What's New at Neuroscience for Kids
A. November Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
The Homunculus Mapper web site was created by members of Dr. David Fitzpatrick's laboratory at the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience. The site describes the classic two-point discrimination experiment, but gives it twist by allowing people to visually display their results graphically.
First, follow the step-by-step instructions to map the sensitivity of
different parts of your body. You will create cards with toothpicks
separated by different distances that will allow you to test whether one
or two points are detected. Keep track of the distances when someone says
that they only feel one point even though two toothpick points touched
their skin. After you have collected your data, go back to the main page
and select a model. Enter your data for the different parts of the body
to see how the sensitivity of different parts of your body is mapped to
your brain. You can even print out your final "homunculus."
Good luck to everyone!
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 3, 2015, in the University of Washington Husky Union Building (Seattle, WA). 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: firstname.lastname@example.org) 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, 2015. Register early - space fills up
My poster was in the "Teaching of Neuroscience" session and described the Sowing the Seeds of Neuroscience program (http://www.neuroseeds.org). Many people were interested in the program and some said they will visit the program web site and try out some of the lessons. Several of the posters I visited gave me new ideas to try. For example, I learned about bean beetles and may be able to use these in some new experiments.
The Society for Neuroscience meeting is tiring because there is so much to see, but the enthusiasm and passion people have for their work is energizing.
According to the Society for Neuroscience, the meeting attracted:
31,263 attendees from 86 countries
537 exhibiting companies
As part of the CSNE education program, where I am the Executive Director, high school students, high school teachers, and undergraduate students have the opportunity to join research laboratories during the summer of 2015 on the Seattle campus of the University of Washington. For more information, including requirements and application materials, please visit:
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:
B. The December 2014 issue of SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN has two articles about pain: "Taking the Sting Out of Pain" by Mark Peplow and "Pain That Won't Quit" by Stephani Sutherland.
C. "Brain: The Inside Story" is a museum exhibit on tour from the
American Museum of Natural History. The exhibit will be on the floor at
the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto, Canada, until March 29, 2015.
B. The Alzheimer's Disease International organization predicts that 135 million people will have Alzheimer's disease by mid-century. (Source: Gammon, K., Brain windfall, Nature, 515:299-300, 2014.)
C. Owls have three eyelids.
D. Edme Mariotte (born, 1620; died, 1684) is credited as the first scientist to discover the blind spot in the visual system. (Source: Grzybowski, A. and Aydin, P., Edme Mariotte (1620-1684): Pioneer of Neurophysiology. Surv Ophthalmol., 52:443-451, 2007.)
E. Prosopagnosia, the inability to recognize and identify familiar faces,
can occur in people who suffer damage to the temporal lobe.
Help Neuroscience for Kids
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.