Volume 9, Issue 11 (November, 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. Neuroscience for Kids Writing Contest - Now Open
4. New Phrase Added to Dictionary
5. South Africa Issues Postage Stamp in Braille
6. Frontiers in Physiology Professional Development Fellowship
7. Free CDC Tool Kit About Concussion for High School Coaches
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 October including:

A. October Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
B. Meth Mouth
C. Clowns Reduce Pre-operative Anxiety in Children
D. Sampling the Water to Estimate Cocaine Use
E. Blinking Reduces Brain Activity
F. 2006 Neuroscience for Kids Writing Contest - Now Open
G. 2006 Brain Facts Daily Planner
H. 2006 Yearly Calendar

In October, 21 new figures were added and 79 pages were modified.


The Neuroscience for Kids "Site of the Month" for November is the "Spinal Cord/Brainstem Interactive Atlas" at:

The Spinal Cord/Brainstem Interactive Atlas was constructed by Dr. Mark Wiegand at Bellarmine University. The atlas consists of 27 photographs of the spinal cord and brainstem at different levels. You can start your exploration near the base of the spinal cord (lumbosacral enlargement) by clicking on the "Start" button or you can advance to any level by selecting a photograph from the numbered index.

Each photograph is accompanied by a drawing to show the location of the section. The photographs are labeled with letters to indicate important structures. When you hold your cursor over a letter, the name of the structure will appear in a small box below the cursor. If you click on a letter, a small pop-up window will tell you more about the structure.


The NEUROSCIENCE FOR KIDS WRITING CONTEST is now open to students in kindergarten through high school. 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 even 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.

Books or other prizes will be awarded to at least one winner in each category. There were more than 50 prize winners in last year's Neuroscience for Kids drawing contest.

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 student.

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.

D. Please download the entry form on the following page:

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.


Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition (2005), has added some brainy words to its 1,664 pages: BRAIN FREEZE. A partial list of the new words can found at:

Here is the entry for brain freeze:

"brain freeze (noun) 1991 : a sudden shooting pain in the head caused by ingesting very cold food (as ice cream) or drink."

No one really knows what causes brain freeze but there are a few theories. "Brain Freeze," also called an "ice cream headache," is thought to be caused by rapid cooling of the palate (upper part of mouth) which then activates nerve fibers that cause pain. Rapid cooling may affect blood vessels that change shape. This change in shape may activate nerve fibers that cause pain.


On October 13, 2005, the South African Postal Service issued a postage stamp with the word "Hello" embossed in Braille. The Braille alphabet was invented by Louis Braille to help people who are blind read. The Braille system uses a series of raised dots that people "read" with their fingers.


Science teachers of students in grades 6-12 are invited to apply for this year-long immersion in the world of cutting-edge physiology research. Teamed with a local scientist (American Physiological Society member), fellows do hands-on research for seven to eight weeks during the summer as well as explore and practice teaching methods that integrate inquiry, equity and the Internet into their classrooms. The Fellowship concludes with a trip to a scientific conference in Washington, DC. Awardees receive a stipend of up to $8,500 over the year that includes travel and a materials mini-grant. Applications are due January 12, 2006. For more information about the Fellowship, see the American Physiological Society's web site ( or contact Kathleen Kelly ( in the APS Education Office.

Frontiers in Physiology is funded by the American Physiological Society, NIH NCRR SEPA Awards (R25 RR018573) and NIDDK (DK39306).


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have developed a new resource to teach high school coaches about concussions. The kit, titled "Heads Up: Concussion in High School Sports," contains a video and DVD featuring a young athlete disabled by concussion, a guide, wallet card and clip board sticker for coaches, posters, fact sheets for parents and athletes and a CD-ROM with downloadable kit materials and additional concussion-related resources. To order a free kit in English or Spanish, please see:


A. "Toxic Treasure" by Robert George Sprackland (Natural History magazine, October, 2005) discusses the poisons and venoms found in animals that live in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. The article also has a great drawing that illustrates how toxins can affect nerve cells.

B. "BODY WORLDS: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies" is a new exhibition that runs at the Franklin Institute Science Museum (Philadelphia, PA) from October 7, 2005 through April 23, 2006. To learn more about Body Worlds, see:

C. "Are You At Risk for Stroke" by Isadore Rosefeld (Parade magazine, October 9, 2005) discusses the factors that make women vulnerable to stroke (brain attack).

D. "A Problem in the Brain" by Peg Tyre (Newsweek magazine, October 17, 2005) discusses the increase in the number of adults taking mediations for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

E. "Sharpen Their Senses" by Megan Othersen Gorman (Better Homes and Gardens, November, 2005) discusses ways to help children explore their senses. The article mentions Neuroscience for Kids on pages 182-186!

F. "Getting Inside Your Head" by Terry McCarthy (Time magazine, October 24, 2005) discusses how industry may use the findings from brain imaging to help market their products.

G. "The Brain. The Bionic Age Begins" by John Horgan (Discover magazine, October, 2005) discusses new advances in neuroscientific research.

H. "The Neurobiology of the Self" by Carl Zimmer (Scientific American, November, 2005) discusses how the brain creates a sense of being oneself.


Folk remedies to cure or prevent neurological problems include:

A. Roman emperors believed that eating lettuce would help a person sleep.

B. Placing a goat's horn under a person's head would cure insomnia.

C. Rubbing a person with a live pig would cure epilepsy.

D. Wearing rings of lead mixed with mercury would prevent headaches.

E. Anxiety caused by bad dreams would be eliminated if a person told the dreams to the sun.

(Sources: Black, W.G., Folk-medicine, New York: B. Franklin, 1970; Bauer, W.W., Potions, Remedies and Old Wives' Tales, Garden City (NY): Doubleday & Co., Inc., 1969.)


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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.