Volume 9, Issue 10 (October, 2005)


Welcome to the Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter.

Here is what you will find in this issue:

1. What's New at Neuroscience for Kids
2. Neuroscience for Kids Site of the Month
3. Back to School Tips for Brain Health
4. Grants for Teachers
5. New NIH Curriculum Supplement Available
6. Neurology Expo
7. Book Review
8. Media Alert
9. Treasure Trove of Brain Trivia
10. Support Neuroscience for Kids
11. How to Stop Your Subscription


Neuroscience for Kids had several new additions in September including:

A. September Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
B. Potential Brain Cancer Drug Penetrates the Blood Brain Barrier
C. Plant Compound Blocks Hyperthermia Caused by Ecstasy
D. Lead Found in Children's Sunglasses
E. Sleepy Doctors Similar to Drunk Doctors
F. Mosquitoes Attracted to People with Malaria
G. Japanese Encephalitis Outbreak in India
H. 2006 Brain Awareness Week
I. Brain Game
J. Lopsided Stroke

In September, 14 new figures were added and 101 pages were modified.


The Neuroscience for Kids "Site of the Month" for October is the "Dangerous Decibels" at:

Dangerous Decibels is a project to reduce noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ear) in children. If you are in Portland, Oregon, you can visit the Dangerous Decibels exhibit at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. If you cannot get to the museum, the Dangerous Decibels online virtual exhibit will have to do. The virtual exhibit is divided into eight interactive sections: 1) What's that sound, 2) How do we hear, 3) How loud is too loud, 4) What is sound, 5) Save your ears, 6) Measuring sound, 7) Rock your world and 8) Whadda ya know. Each section features a game or demonstration to show how hearing works or ways to protect your hearing. Before you try the virtual exhibit, make sure your computer has the free Macromedia Shockwave or Macromedia Flash plug-ins.

Dangerous Decibels was developed by researchers and educators including those at the Oregon Health & Science University and Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and supported by a Science Education Partnership Award from the National Center of Research Resources at the National Institutes of Health.


Last month, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a press release to urge parents, teachers and school administrators to take steps to reduce unnecessary injuries in and around schools. Some of these tips will help prevent head and brain injuries:

* ALWAYS wear a bike helmet when you ride a bike or scooter. Also, make sure that your helmet meets safety standards and is fitted correctly.

* Make sure playground equipment is safe with adequate materials under play structures. Soccer goals should be secured so they will not fall over.

* All art supplies should be free of lead. Lead is a neurotoxin that can harm the nervous system.

The complete CPSC press release can be found at:

In addition to these recommendations, here are some more back-to-school brain health and safety tips:

* Infants should be secured properly in a car seat and everyone else should wear a seatbelt while riding in a car.

* If you participate in sports, you should know how to use the necessary equipment and know the rules and risks involved with the sport. Athletes, coaches and parents should be aware of the signs of a concussion.

* Eat a well-balanced diet. Brains need fuel, vitamins and nutrients to work properly.

* Get enough sleep!


Are you a teacher who has an idea for a great science program for your class or school? Are you looking for money to fund your program? If you answered "Yes" to these questions, then a Toyota Tapestry Grant for Science Teachers can help!

Tapestry Grants are sponsored by the Toyota company and administered by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). A total of 50 one-year grants (maximum of $10,0000) and at least 20 mini grants (maximum of $2,500) will be awarded in early 2006.

Perhaps the innovative NEUROSCIENCE program you have been thinking about can now become a reality!

The NSTA web site has a list of proposals awarded in 2005, an application for 2006 grants (due January 19, 2006) and tips for writing a winning proposal:


The Office of Science Education at the National Institutes of Health has released a new curriculum supplement for grades 7-8 titled "The Brain: Our Sense of Self."

"The Brain: Our Sense of Self" uses inquiry-based activities to explore brain function and to show how learning affects the brain. The resource discusses 1) localization of brain function; 2) functions of specific brain areas; 3) neuron anatomy; 4) neurotransmission; 5) scientific methods; 6) relationship of science, technology and society and 7) sensory and motor responses. In addition to printed material, the supplement has a "Web Version" with multimedia activities.

The new material is available for FREE at:


The American Academy of Neurology and its foundation are sponsoring the "Neurology EXPO" in Atlanta, Georgia, on Saturday, October 22, 2005. The Expo will be held in the Georgia World Congress Center (Exhibit Hall A2) from 10 am to 4 pm.

The Expo will bring patients and their caregivers together with healthcare professionals, patient organizations, and support services in hopes of improving the quality of life for patients suffering from neurological disorders.

The Expo will also have a "Kids Zone" where children can learn about the nervous system. I will be at the Expo with an interactive presentation about the brain for people of all ages. I hope to see you there!


"The Longest Yawn" by Jennifer Dussling, illustrated by Blanche Sims, Kane Press, 2005 [ISBN: 1575651602].
Reading Level: Kindergarten - Grade 3

(Note: I was a consultant for this book and am listed in the acknowledgements, but do not receive any payment for any books that are sold.)

"The Longest Yawn" tells the fictional story of Barry Moore, a young boy who goes to the Sunny Day Camp. Barry expects to swim, play games and make arts and crafts at camp. Little did he know that he would also learn about reflexes such as sneezing and yawning.

Barry upsets his drama teacher, Mr. Zane, by yawning. Mr. Zane thinks that Barry is bored. Barry explains that he could not help yawning. Barry's sneeze and his hiccups the following days during play practice do not help matters. Mr. Zane does not understand Barry's explanation that yawning, sneezing and hiccups are involuntary reflexes and thinks that Barry should control himself. Mr. Zane finally understands what has been happening to Barry when he has his own involuntary reflex. (You will have to read the book to find out which reflex affects Mr. Zane.)


A. Discover magazine (October, 2005) describes several new neuroscience discoveries in the "R&D" section (page 8) and interviews Dr. Richard Andersen, a neuroscientist working on brain implants to help people who are paralyzed (page 36).

B. "Boy Brains, Girl Brains" by Peg Tyre (Newsweek magazine, September 19, 2005) discusses how some schools are using new research results about the differences between boys' and girls' brains to change the way students are taught.

C. "Their Best Chance For a Normal Life" by Dianne Hales (Parade magazine, September 18, 2005) discusses how surgery can be used to treat people with epilepsy.

D. "When to Hurry for Help" by Josh Fischman (US News and World Report, September 26, 2005) discusses the importance of treating victims of stroke quickly.

E. A new issue of Scientific American Mind is now available. This issue is titled "The Chaos of Consciousness" and includes articles about synesthesia, smart drugs, thrill seeking, infant thought, first impressions, spinal cord research, seasonal affective disorder and Down syndrome.

F. "Will Drugs Make Us Smarter and Happier?" by James Vlahos (Popular Science magazine, September, 2005) discusses how new drugs might alter mood, memory and intelligence.

G. "The Forgotten Era of Brain Chips" by John Horgan (Scientific American, October 2005) discusses early brain stimulation experiments.


A. There are approximately 1 billion neurons in the human spinal cord. (Statistic from Kalat, J.W., Biological Psychology, 6th Edition, 1998, page 24.)

B. Ivan Petrovich Pavlov is best known for his work on conditioned reflexes ("Pavlov's dogs"). However, his 1904 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine was awarded for his work on the physiology of digestion.

C. Thirty percent of older Americans between the ages of 70 and 80 have a problem with their sense of smell. Two out of three people over 80 have a problem with their sense of smell. (Source:

D. Agenesis of the corpus callosum (ACC) is a birth defect in which the structure that connects the two hemispheres of the brain (the corpus callosum) is partially or completely absent.

E. Thomas Willis coined the term "neurology" in 1681.


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Eric H. Chudler, Ph.D.