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. Reader Response
4. Hot Weather Ahead
5. Opportunities for K-12 Teachers
6. Attend the 2005 Society for Neuroscience Meeting in Washington, D.C.
7. Media Alert
8. Treasure Trove of Brain Trivia
9. Support Neuroscience for Kids
10. How to Stop Your Subscription
A. June Neuroscience for Kids Newsletter was archived
B. To Spray or Not to Spray?
C. Noisy Airplanes Affect Learning
D. Red Tide Kills Dolphins and Manatees
In June, 22 new figures were added and 106 pages were modified.
A newsletter asked me why I mention how many new figures were added and how many pages were modified on the Neuroscience for Kids web site. I answered that this information lets people know that the web site is always changing. New illustrations, photographs and projects are added to the web site each month. For example, a new activity ("Baked Brains/Baked Neurons") was added to the "Modeling the Nervous System" page at:
New bookmarks and electronic puzzle postcards were also added recently:
The Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at Temple University School of Medicine has modified the "Neuroanatomy Laboratory Assistant (c) CD-ROM" and displayed the results on their web site. This collection of images, quizzes and videos is an incredible resource. Most of the material on the site is intended for medical and graduate students, but there is something for everyone.
The "Atlases/Images" section reviews the major structures of the human
brain. Photographs, CAT scans and MRI images are used to illustrate areas
of the brain, nerves and blood vessels. The "Neuroembryology" section
describes how the nervous system develops. Try the "Interactive Quizzes"
to test your knowledge of neuroanatomy. Beware! These quizzes are
difficult. My favorite part of the web site is the "Neurological Exam."
Within the Neurological Exam section, select "Videos" to see how a
neurologist tests a patient for sensory, motor and mental abilities.
In the United States between 1995 and 2002, 171 children under the age of 5 years died because they were left in hot cars. Some (27%) of these children got into the cars when they were playing, but most of the children were left in cars by adults on purpose or by adults who forgot about them. Some parents left their kids in the car because they did not want to wake the child and did not think the car would get too hot.
Researchers at the Education Development Center (Newton, MA) suggest several ways to prevent heat-related deaths to children in cars:
A. Keep cars locked when they are not being used.
B. Educate people (parents, babysitters and caregivers) about the dangers of warm weather and cars.
C. Add parking lot patrols to look for kids in cars.
D. Design technology to reduce the chance that kids will be left inside cars and to prevent young children from entering cars.
E. Pass laws to hold adults responsible for leaving kids in cars.
Did you know?
* Body temperature is controlled by an area of the brain called the "hypothalamus." The hypothalamus has connections to the autonomic nervous system and can alter heat balance by affecting blood vessels in the skin that cause sweating. To cool the body, the hypothalamus sends messages to the body to make blood vessels near the skin surface larger. This helps heat escape from the body. The evaporation of sweat also cools the body. In hot weather, our brain also tells us to find a cooler place or to take off a piece of clothing.
* Pets should never be left in hot cars! They can also suffer from heat stroke.
Reference and further information:
Guard, A. and Gallagher, S.S., Heat related deaths to young children in parked cars: an analysis of 171 fatalities in the United States, 1995-2002, Injury Prevention, 11:33-37, 2005.
Kids In Cars
Hyperthermia Deaths of Children in Vehicles
If you are a teacher who wants to learn more about the brain, then you may be interested in "Brain Research in Education" (BRE), an Internet-based program from the University of Washington Extension. BRE is a series of three courses: 1) Brain Basics (October 4 - December 16, 2005); 2) Brain Research Processes (January 10, 2005 - March 24, 2006) and 3) Brain Research in Educational Curricula (April 4 - June 16, 2006). Teachers earn four Continuing Education Units (CEUs) or 40 clock-hours and a University of Washington Certificate of Achievement when they complete the courses.
B. Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (TOPSS) Workshop
On August 17, 2005, I will be making a presentation in Washington, D.C. at a workshop sponsored by the TOPSS division of the American Psychological Association. The workshop is titled "Neuroscience and Research in the High School Classroom." Registration information and description of the workshop are available at:
If you go the meeting, make sure you attend the Brain Awareness Campaign
Meeting (November 13) and the presentation of the 2005 Science Educator
Award (November 14). Also, browse the many posters in the Teaching of
B. "Your Brain on Video Games" by Steven Johnson and "Extreme States" by Steven Kotler are both in the July 2005 issue of Discover magazine. "Extreme States" discusses how the brain may be involved with out-of-body experiences.
C. "Stem Cells. How Far Will We Go?" by Rick Weiss (National Geographic magazine, July, 2005) discusses the possibilities and controversies involved with stem cell research.
D. "A Little Bit Louder, Please" by David Noonan was the cover story in Newsweek magazine, June 6, 2005. This article discusses hearing loss and ways to protect hearing.
E. The Summer 2005 Newsweek issue, titled "Your Health in the 21st Century," features many articles on health, including "Seven Ways to Save a Brain," about Alzheimer's disease and "Managing Every Shade of Blue," about depression.
F. The July 2005 issue of Scientific American has the articles "Training the Brain" by Gunjan Sinha about using cognitive therapy to treat ADHD and "New Movement in Parkinson's" By Andres M. Lozano and Suneil K. Kalia about new treatments for Parkinson's disease.
G. "A Very Precious Gift of Time" by Josh Fischman (US News and World Report, July 4, 2005) discusses how Alzheimer's patients can benefit from an early diagnosis.
H. "The Marine Mammal Brain Game" by Melissa Demetrikopoulos, Lee G.
Morris, Archibald J. Fobbs Jr., and John I. Johnson (The Science Teacher,
Summer Issue, 72:24-29, 2005) describes a comparative neuroanatomy,
physiology and behavior game for middle and high school students.
B. In 2003, there were 871,535 physicians in the United States. Of these doctors, 5,140 were neurosurgeons, 13,293 were neurologists, and 40,334 were psychiatrists. (Source: Pasko, T. and Smart, D.R. Physician Characteristics and Distribution in the US. 2005 edition, Chicago: AMA Press, 2005.)
C. In 1895, Wilhelm Konrad Roentgen discovered X-rays. He used the "X" in X-ray because he did not know how his discovery worked.
D. In 1998, the US government required breads and grains sold in the US to be fortified with folic acid. Since then, the number of children at risk for birth defects (such as neural tube defects) caused by folic acid deficiency has decreased by 32%. (Source: "For Babies, Going with the Grain," by John O'Neil, The New York Times, March 2, 2004.)
E. It is estimated that 62% of people in the US over the age of 53 have
olfactory impairments (trouble smelling). (Source: JAMA, November 2002.)
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.