Volume 4, Issue 10 (October, 2000)


Welcome to the Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter.

Here is what you will find in this issue:

1. What's New on the Neuroscience for Kids Web Pages
2. The Neuroscience for Kids Page of the Month
3. Neuroscience for Kids DRAWING CONTEST - NOW OPEN
4. Another Neuroscience Contest
5. Book Review
6. Media Alert
7. Treasure Trove of Brain Trivia
8. How to Stop Your Subscription


Neuroscience for Kids had several new additions in September. Here are some of them:

A. September Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
B. October NeuroCalendar
C. Your Really Weird Body Map (the Homunculus) [Requires Shockwave]
D. Neuroscience for Kids Drawing Contest - Rules and Entry Form
E. Foot-powered Scooter Injuries On the Rise
F. "Simon Says" Memory Game

In September, 21 new figures were added and 53 pages were modified.


The Neuroscience for Kids "Page of the Month" for October is "International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP)" at:

With 6943 members from 95 countries, the IASP is a large organization dedicated to helping people with pain and to understanding basic pain mechanisms. Some IASP publications, such as a dictionary of pain terms and ethical issues, are available on-line. Also on-line are clinical updates. These updates are written for physicians, but provide excellent information for anyone doing research on pain. Example topics covered in the updates are: Pain and Memory; Does Acupuncture Work; Pain Control: The New "Whys" and "Hows"; Pain in Sickle Cell Disease. Follow the link to "Public Information" to get to these clinical updates.

Visit the IASP web really won't hurt.


Get out your pencils, pens and markers! The FIRST ANNUAL NEUROSCIENCE FOR KIDS DRAWING CONTEST is now open to students in kindergarten through high school. Use your imagination to draw a picture 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 brief set of rules for the contest:

1. Drawings must be done by hand using pencils, pens, markers, and/or crayons.

2. Entries will be divided into four age groups. Drawings in each group should be about the following topics:

Kindergarten to Grade 2: "My brain is important because ________..."

Grade 3 to Grade 5: "Brain Fitness: Ways to Keep Your Brain Healthy"

Grade 6 to Grade 8: "My brain is like a _______ because_______..."

Grade 9 to Grade 12: "How has brain research helped people?"

3. To enter the drawing contest, mail your completed entry to me. Go to the contest web page to get my address.

4. Entries must be received by February 1, 2001 and will not be returned. Winners will be announced on March 1, 2001.

5. Drawings will be judged by the staff of Neuroscience for Kids on the basis of originality, scientific accuracy and overall design.

6. Winners will be awarded a book or CD-ROM related to the brain. These prizes include "101 Questions Your Brain Has Asked About Itself But Couldn't Answer Until Now" by Faith Brynie, Brookfield: Millbrook Press, 1998; a set of books on the senses by Helen Frost, Mankato (MN): Pebble Books, 2000; "Understanding Your Brain" by Rebecca Treays, Tulsa: Usborne Books, 1996; "Journey into the Brain" (CD-ROM) from Morphonix.

If you have any questions about this contest, you can contact me at:

Good luck to everyone!


If you like contests, you don't have to stop with the Neuroscience for Kids Drawing Contest. High school students can compete for two prizes from the American Academy of Neurology. These two competitions are for the "Neuroscience Creativity Prize" and the "Neuroscience Research Prize." Both prizes are for students (grades 9-12) "whose creativity and ability to use the scientific method indicate the potential to make significant contributions in the field of neuroscience." Although the names of the two prizes are similar, their rules, guidelines and awards are different. The biggest difference in the two competitions is that the Creativity Prize is for a proposal of an experiment and the Research Prize is for a completed experiment. So, if you have a good idea for a project, but have not done it yet, the Creativity Prize is for you. If you have a completed project, then you should apply for the Research Prize. If you have a finished project and an idea for another one, apply for both prizes!

The deadline for both contests is December 15, 2000.


Now You See It, Now You Don't (The Amazing World of Optical Illusions), Revised Edition by Seymour Simon, 1976, 1998 Scholastic [ISBN: 0-439-10484]. (This review was written by Ms. Lynne Bleeker, a Neuroscience for Kids teacher/collaborator.)

"Now You See It, Now You Don't" is a wonderful book of optical illusions! Author Seymour Simon includes all of the popular optical illusions found in most science books. The explanations about why the illusions work to "fool" the brain are especially interesting and useful. Simon's writing is accurate and understandable and he goes into only as much detail as is needed for the reader to follow his main points. The background chapter on "How You See" is clear and easy to read. In the "Optical Illusions in Art" chapter, artist M.C. Escher and three other artists who use light, color and perspective to communicate their messages are discussed. The book is appropriate for students in grade 4 and up to read alone, and sections of it could be used as a read-aloud for younger children. I highly recommend the book for home and school libraries and science or art classrooms; it is a "must-have" for anyone who teaches about the sense of sight.


A. "Neurocomputers" in Discover magazine (October, 2000): combining microprocessors with neurons.

B. "20 Ideas That Will Rule Research in the Next 20 Years" in Discover magazine (October, 2000): includes views by neuroscientists Antonio Damasio and Steven Pinker.

C. "High-Tech Fish" in Highlights for Children (October, 2000): electric fish and their ability to generate and detect electrical energy.

D. "Hard Knocks" in Time Magazine (October 2, 2000): concussions are no laughing matter.

E. Get ready to set your VCR to your local public broadcasting system (PBS) station. Alan Alda will host "Changing Your Mind" as part of the Scientific American Frontiers series. The show is not scheduled to premier until November 21, 2000.

F. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute has announced that the 2000 Holiday Lecture Series for high school students will be "Clockwork Genes: Discoveries in Biological Time." The lectures will be broadcast live via satellite and over the Internet on December 4 and December 5. The lectures will focus on biological clocks, sleep, body temperature and other internal rhythms. For more information and registration material about these lectures, please see:


A. In 1904, US President Theodore Roosevelt threatened to outlaw football after 19 college football players were killed or paralyzed from brain or spinal cord injuries. (Statistic from Maroon et al., Neurosurgery, 47:659-672, 2000.)

B. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget has grown from about $300 in 1887 to more than $15.6 billion in 1999. (from

C. As you age, the amount of rapid eye movement ("dream") sleep you have decreases.

D. When children are six years old, they can understand approximately 13,000 words; high school graduates know at least 60,000 words. (Statistic from Kandel, Schwartz and Jessell, Principles of Neural Science, 2000.)

E. Between 20-28 million American have some form of hearing loss. (Statistic from Alpiner et al., Rehabilitative Audiology: Children and Adults, Philadelphia: Lippincott, 2000.)


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.

"Neuroscience for Kids" is supported by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the National Center of Research Resources.