Summer SAVY 2017, Session 5/Day 2- Neuroscience Navigators, Wilkey (Rising 2nd/3rd)
On the second day of Neuroscience Navigators, we built on our knowledge of neuroanatomy by connecting parts of the brain to their function. We started the day by building our very own brain hats that label the four lobes (frontal, parietal, occipital, and temporal) as well as the motor cortex and the somatosensory cortex. If you don’t know what they do, the neuroscience navigators do. You should ask yours! The hats have little pictures on them that help remind us of what the different lobes do. Check out the photo below.
After that we talked a little about how many animal brain are similar and share a lot of the same structures. We got to watch Mr. Eric dissect a sheep brain and talked through all of the parts. He made a sagittal cut and we saw the Corpus Callosum, which is the structure that connects the left and right hemisphere. It is like a superhighway that lets them communicate. After the dissection, we were all able to touch the brain if we wanted to. Of course, we had on gloves (non-latex).
When the dissection was done, we all went outside and competed with the other neuroscience navigators class to answer questions about which part of the brain helps us do the activity that our teachers were acting out. There was a giant brain on the ground and we had to run to the right part. It turns out that a lot of the time there is more than one right answer since we need most of our brain to do any activity. From vision to motor control to logical thinking, even picking up a pencil is a complicated task.
All of the neuroscience navigator teachers have experience with MRI’s, which stands for magnetic resonance imaging. So, we went over the the Vanderbilt Institute for Imaging Science where they do a lot of their science. We went over MRI physics and a little bit about neuroimaging methods. We saw an MRI of Mr. Ben’s brain, the teacher from the other class. A few of us got to get in the mock MRI scanner to do a pretend MRI. It looks like a giant donut!
Mr. Eric Wilkey