NICHCY Connections...to Learning and the Brain
Research on the human brain has brought an explosion of excitement and promise to our understanding of ourselves---how we think, how we learn, how the brain regulates activities and reacts to stimulation, and how we're the same and different, depending upon many, many aspects of the brain itself. As we discover more and more about the brain and its function, its responsibilities, and its organization, we hopefully can translate findings into educational programs, practices, and policies that take advantage of what we've learned in the laboratory and beyond.
Non-invasive technologies such as the CTScan and the MRI play a large part in our ability to peek inside the head and see what the brain is doing. When you look at a color, or hear a sound, or smell a favorite aroma, what part of the brain goes into action? When you're asked to do something complicated with language---or drive a car, or recognize a face---which part or parts of your brain come alive with electrical impulses? In fact, what are the different parts of the brain? With specific kinds of disability, how are these parts the same or different?
This A-Z Topics page connects you with resources of more information on this ever-developing story of brain research. It isn't intended to be exhaustive of the resources available. We'll be adding to this page as we learn of more, and as more become available. You may wish to check back every now and again to see what's new!
The ABCs of the Brain
- Brain basics: Know your brain.
NINDS offers this ten-page intro to the human brain, including information on how a healthy brain works, how to keep it healthy, and what happens when it is diseased or dysfunctional.
- Don't run away--come here if you need more brain background!
The Society for Neuroscience offers this online series of articles that answer basic neuroscience questions ---called Brain Backgrounders---for those of us just putting our first toe in these waters.
- The secret life of the brain.
This 2002 PBS series covers a lifetime of brain development, from infancy to old age. The series and the Web site use visual imagery and compelling human stories to help the audience understand the difficult underlying scientific concepts.
- Brain facts.
Brain Facts is a 52-page primer on the brain and nervous system, published by the Society for Neuroscience. It's intended as a starting point for a lay audience interested in neuroscience, and can be downloaded or ordered at the link above.
- Neuroscience for kids (and, frankly, probably most of us adults).
Can't plow through the way neuroscientists write their research articles and findings? Then Neuroscience for Kids is for you! It's an easy-to-read Web site that's been created for all students and teachers who would like to learn about the brain and the nervous system, neuroimagining and other techniques that neuroscientists use, and recent brain research of interest.
- More detailed brain basics.
For a detailed tutorial on the anatomy, physiology, & functionality of the central nervous system, visit the link above. Find out about the brain's part in hearing, seeing, moving, the nature of specific disorders, and much more.
- Brain connections: Your source guide to information on brain diseases and disorders.
Find a source of information about your area of interest in this up-to-date listing of leading national organizations related to brain diseases and disorders.
- The connection between the brain and the immune system.
A current concept in brain research is the rich interconnections between the nervous system and the body's disease-fighting system (known as the immune system). This research field is called neuroimmunology. Follow the link above to the 2004 Progress Report on Brain Research, which includes the latest on the way that knowledge about the nervous and immune systems can lead to discoveries about the following disorders that appear in childhood: autism, reading and dyslexia, mental retardation, and cerebral palsy.
Reprinted with the permission of the National Dissemination Center.
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