|EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE
Monday, March 12, 2001
Students Brainstorm with Neuroscientists
Brain Awareness Week Programs to be held March 14-15
- National Institute of Mental Health scientist Beth Molloy, Director of the Twin Project, will explain the "Wonders of the Brain." She will present some amazing and puzzling features of the human brain, highlighting its function, development, and peculiarities. Illustrations will show how brains can play tricks on us.
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke scientists Dr. Cheryl Kitt and Dr. Lynn Hudson will present "Know Your Brain," showing students brain slices through a microscope, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on a light box, brain samples with magnifying glasses, and fun with brain teasers.
- National Institute on Aging scientists Dr. Elisabeth Koss and Dr. Judith Finkelstein will talk about "How We Use Our Brain," focusing on taste, smell, hearing, and thinking. Their props and handouts will pinpoint areas of sensation and perception in the body's most complex organ.
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism scientist Dr. Dennis Twombly will use a brain model with flashing lights to help students understand how neurons change in "The Drunken Brain." Students will navigate an obstacle course wearing Fatal Vision Goggles to simulate a drunken state.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse scientists Drs. Cathrine Sasek, Nancy Pilotte, Angela Martinelli, and Suman A. Rao will talk about abused drugs, such as cocaine and marijuana, and their actions in the brain and body. Students will learn how abused drugs operate in the brain in "Who Wants to Be a Neuroscientist?"
- National Museum of Health and Medicine Neuroanatomical Curator Archie Fobbs will address "What Is a Normal Brain?" Students will see normal and diseased brains and have the opportunity to examine a real brain that has been preserved through a process called "plastination."
The program will be given on Wednesday, March, 14, with students from Stuart Hobson Middle School, Hart Middle School, and Backus Middle School; on Thursday, March 15, with students from McFarland Middle School, Capitol Hill Day School, Shepherd Elementary School and Grace Episcopal Day School.
The National Museum of Health and Medicine, founded as the Army Medical Museum in 1862 to study and improve medical conditions during the American Civil War, is a division of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. The Museum's Neuroanatomical Collection includes some 37,000 specimens used widely for research and education. Open daily except Christmas from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., the museum is located at Walter Reed Medical Center, 6900 Georgia Avenue and Elder Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. Admission is free <http://www.natmedmuse.afip.org/>
The Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives is a nonprofit organization of more than 190 preeminent neuroscientists, including seven Nobel Laureates, who are committed to advance education about the public benefits of brain research. The Dana Alliance is supported by the Charles A. Dana Foundation, a private, philanthropic organization with interests in neuroscience and education.
The National Institutes of Health is the Federal agency dedicated to biomedical research, and the participating Institutes are the premier supporters of research on the brain and nervous system. The NIH is located in Bethesda, MD.
Contacts: NIH - Constance Burr (NIMH) 301-443-4536; Margo Warren (NINDS) 301-496-5751; Anne Decker (NIA)
301-496-1752; Michelle Muth (NIDA) 301-443-6245; Diane Miller (NIAAA) 301-443-3860. National Museum of Health and Medicine - Janet Burns, 202-782-2673; Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives - Karen Graham, 301-951-9177