Volume 8, Issue 11 (November, 2004)


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 Site
2. Neuroscience for Kids Site of the Month
3. Neuroscience for Kids Drawing Contest - NOW OPEN
4. Society for Neuroscience Meeting
5. Media Alert
6. Treasure Trove of Brain Trivia
7. E-mail Changes
8. Support Neuroscience for Kids
9. How to Stop Your Subscription


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

A. October Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
B. 2004-2005 Neuroscience for Kids Drawing Contest
C. Female Brains Have More Folds
D. Smelly Research Nets Two US Researchers the Nobel Prize
E. Goodbye, Superman Christopher Reeve
F. Annoying Cell Phones
G. FDA Approved Microchip Technology

In October, 26 new figures were added and 98 pages were modified.


The Neuroscience for Kids "Site of the Month" for November is "Webvision" at:

Vision researchers Drs. Helga Kolb, Eduardo Fernandez and Ralph Nelson focus on the science of the eye in their web site titled "Webvision." Webvision opens with an extensive table of contents with topics about the anatomy and physiology of the eye. To get started, simply scroll down to the Table of Contents, choose a topic, and explore. Although the web site is very detailed, don't be scared away. There are many excellent illustrations and photographs to help readers understand the eye.


Get out your pencils, pens and markers! The 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 and submitted on an official entry form (or copy of the form).

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

Kindergarten to Grade 2: "My brain helps me ________________."

Grade 3 to Grade 5: "Brain Fitness: I keep my brain healthy by _________."

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

Grade 9 to Grade 12: "Brain research is important because __________."

3. To enter the drawing contest, mail your completed entry form to the address listed on the entry form.

4. Entries must be received by February 1, 2005, and will not be returned. Winners will be announced no later than March 1, 2005.

5. Drawings will be judged by the staff of Neuroscience for Kids or by other individuals designated by Dr. Eric H. Chudler. Drawings will be judged on the basis of originality, scientific accuracy and overall design.

6. There will be several winners in each age group. Winners will be awarded a neuroscience book or other prize related to the brain.

Contact Dr. Chudler with any questions about this contest:

Good luck to everyone!


Last month, approximately 30,000 neuroscientists from around the world met in San Diego, CA, for the annual Society for Neuroscience (SfN) meeting. Scientists presented their work on topics including genes and behavior, brain structure, pain, drug abuse, sleep, hunger, depression, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.

The SfN Committee on Neuroscience Literacy also hosted 30 K-12 teachers at the meeting. In fact, I met a few teachers who found out about the SfN meeting by reading the Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter! A travel stipend of $1,000 was given to five teachers to help them attend the meeting. Teachers were treated to a trip to Salk Institute where they toured several laboratories to see neuroscience research in action. The teachers also participated in hands-on workshops highlighting ideas to bring neuroscience into the classroom. On Sunday, the teachers could attend presentations to learn how neuroscience fits in with the "No Child Left Behind" act.

Approximately 200 high school students from the San Diego area also visited the meeting. These students listened to presentations by neuroscientists about degenerative diseases and mental illness. Following these presentations, neuroscientist guides took the students on a tour of the main exhibit area where they viewed scientific posters and picked up toys, pens, calendars, erasers, magnets and other promotional items from various vendors. The students also received a free lunch.

The SfN meeting will be held next year (November 12-16, 2005) in Washington, D.C. The Committee on Neuroscience Literacy is already hard at work planning new workshops for K-12 teachers and high school students.


A. "Hyponosis Works" by Michael Abrams (Discover magazine, November, 2004) discusses the possible brain mechanisms of hypnosis.

B. "We've Got Rhythm" by Anne Underwood (Newsweek magazine, October 11, 2004) discusses biological clocks in animals and plants.

C. "In Search of Sleep," about behavioral therapy as treatment for insomnia and "How are Elders Coping?" about mental illness in the elderly (Time magazine, October 1, 2004).

D. "Health: It's Over Your Head" (Newsweek magazine, October 18, 2004) discusses sports-related concussions and ways to prevent head injuries.

E. "He Never Gave Up" by Jeffrey Kluger (Time magazine, October 25, 2004) describes what Christopher Reeve taught scientists about spinal cord injury.

F. "The Battle Over Stem Cells" is the cover story of Newsweek magazine (October 25, 2004).

G. "Music and the Brain" by Norman M. Weinberger (Scientific American, November, 2004).

H. "A Telling Difference" by Stephen R. Anderson (Natural History, November, 2004) compares animal communication to human communication.


A. The first football helmet used during a game was worn when Army played Navy in 1893. (Source: Levy et al., Birth and evolution of the football helmet, Neurosurgery, 55:656-662, 2004.)

B. Aspirin, the commonly used pain reliever, gets its name by combining the "a" from acetyl and "spirin" from "spiraeic acid," the old term for salicylic acid.

C. Central and South American poison frogs produce around 600 chemicals in their skin. The frogs harvest the poison from their diet of ants, mites, millipedes and other arthropods, which are rich in the alkaloid chemicals. Frog poisons may benefit human medicine: the frog chemical epidatidine is 200 times more powerful a painkiller than morphine. (Source: The Dallas Morning News, October 24, 2003.)

D. About 2 to 3 out of every 1,000 children in the United States are born deaf or hard-of-hearing. Nine out of every 10 children who are born deaf are born to parents who can hear. (Source:

E. The word "alcohol" comes from the Arabic "al" and "kohl." Kohl is a powder that was used to paint eyebrows.


Some people change e-mail addresses at the end of the year. If you change your e-mail address and would like to continue to receive the Neuroscience for Kids newsletter, please let me know. If the newsletter bounces back to me because an e-mail address is incorrect or a mailbox is full, then that e-mail address is removed from the mailing list automatically.


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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.

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