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| LAUNCH POINT: Where Learning and the Internet Meet

The Brain and Memory

October 01, 2000

Did you know that the brain is not fully equipped at age 2, as previously believed, but continues to grow and develop throughout life? Scientists study the brain not only to understand how we learn and remember but also to provide clues to help doctors treat disease. Learn how the brain enables us to think and to function, find out about important brain research and discover simple ways you can help your brain perform at its best through these direct links on the Times Launch Point Web site: http://www.latimes.com/launchpoint.

Level 1

BrainPOP: The Brain Scientists think that intelligence is reflected more in the complexity of the brain rather than its size. Find out what the 100 billion cells in your brain do through this animated presentation by Tim and Moby.

http://www.brainpop.com/health/nervous/brain/index.weml

Brainarium Hall: The largest part of your brain, the cerebral cortex, is in charge of thinking, learning, memory and creativity. View colorful diagrams that explain the brain, access a helpful glossary and try your hand at putting together the 3D brain puzzle.

http://www.morphonix.com/software/education /science/brain/game/brainarium/brainarium_inside.html

Brain Surf: What do neuroscientists--people who study the brain and nervous system--actually do? Meet a group of scientists who are studying sea slugs to learn how learning and memory work and discover some interesting facts about the brain.

http://www.sahs.uth.tmc.edu/brainsurf/

Level 2

Brain Wave: How is a female's brain different from a male's brain? This collection of resources includes a brain tour, various brain games and a history of how people have studied the brain, including such ancient Greeks as Hippocrates, who thought that "the brain exercises the greatest power in the man."

http://library.thinkquest.org/28457/main.shtml

Neuroscience for Kids: This extensive collection of resources includes some fun brain experiments and games, wonderfully written and illustrated materials, "brainy" postcards, recent brain research discoveries and the chance to ask a neuroscientist a question.

http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/neurok.html

Yearning for Learning: What is the connection between learning and brain cells? This site explains what scientists have discovered about neurons and what activities can stimulate the growth of new brain cells through this illustrated and entertaining article.

http://whyfiles.org/093learn/index.html

Level 3

It's All in the Brain: How does your brain enable you to see, smell and hear? These illustrated articles explain everything from how we see color to how sophisticated brain imaging techniques are used to understand how the brain works.

http://www.hhmi.org/senses/a/a130.htm

How to Grow a Better Brain: How to improve your brain by making good choices in all areas of your life, from nutrition to exercise to even how certain types of music can affect the quality of your thinking.

http://library.thinkquest.org/J002391/

Exploratorium: The Memory Exhibition: The hippocampus is the part of the brain that processes long-term memory while the cerebellum stores skill memory, which coordinates body movements. Explore the brain through an insightful dissection of a sheep's brain and enhance your memory through a variety of games and activities.

http://www.exploratorium.edu/memory/index.html

EXPLORER'S QUEST

The answer to this Internet quiz can be found in the sites at right.

How much electricity can a human brain generate?

CLUE: See Brainarium Hall

Find What You Need to Know: Have a project on California history? Need help doing a math problem? Launch Point now covers more than 100 topics for getting your schoolwork done. Go to http://www.latimes.com/launchpoint/ for the full list of subjects and direct links to the best Internet sites.

Answer to last week's Quest: Angel Island was known as the "Ellis Island of the West" because it was the first stopping point for Chinese immigrants seeking entry into the U.S.

Launch Point is produced by the UC Irvine department of education, which reviews each site for appropriateness and quality. Even so, parents should supervise their children's use of the Internet. This column was designed by Natalie Ronan, Debi Mc Swain, Crystal Smith and Anna Manring.

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