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Kid's stuff

If you are a parent or a teacher, you have a great excuse to visit the 'Neuroscience for kids' web site. If not, you will just have to hope that nobody looks over your shoulder while you browse.

Run by Eric Chudler of the University of Washington, the site provides a wealth of resources on all parts of the nervous system. The colourful homepage invites you to explore the nervous system, after which you can select a specific subject. For example, if you select sensory systems you can find a description of the visual pathway, with links to related subjects — the retina and the eye — and to games and activities related to vision. (These are, of course, my favourite bits.)

But there's more. Visitors to the site can send an e-mail to Dr Chudler, and ask a question related to neuroscience. Questions are answered by 'The neuroscientist network', an international group of neuroscientists who answer queries on everything from the number of neurons in the spinal cord to the effects of temperature on the shape of the action potential. There are graded lesson plans and resources, short articles on neuroscience in the news, and a helpful list of neuroscience links. And did you know that a giraffe sleeps for only around two hours each day? Facts like this can be at your fingertips if you follow the link to the treasure trove of brain trivia.

'Neuroscience for kids' is a lot of fun for those of us who never really grew up. But it is also a great way of getting younger students to think about how they think.

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Jones, R. Kid's stuff. Nat Rev Neurosci 2, 454 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1038/35081522

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