How Your Brain Controls Your Body (an Introduction to Neuronal Communication)

Neuronal communication is complex, but what if a few simple metaphors helped you grasp the basics? Through an educational and engaging animation, kids who could be hearing about neuronal communication for the first time will learn the basics of a nerve cell's function. The explanation is designed to be simple and engaging enough that a 10-year-old can understand while retaining scientific accuracy which could eventually provide a useful foundation in later college courses. To ensure accuracy while simplifying this concept, collaboration with a faculty member in the Department of Pharmacology occurred. The first goal of the project is simplified explanation of neuronal communication to increase younger children’s interest in neuroscience and give them a piece of knowledge they can find helpful if they continue to pursue or neuro- or psych related field. The second purpose is providing a useful and memorable explanation for any students who are not in a STEM field, to better understand their own nervous system.

Project Author(s): 
Author Bio(s): 
Laura Evans, a senior from Ames, IA, is pursuing a B.S. in Neuroscience. From freshman year through the end of 2021, she conducted research on sleep and motor behavior in human infants under Dr. Mark Blumberg. This past summer, Laura was awarded a research grant through the Iowa Center For Undergraduate Research (ICRU). On campus, she has formerly been vice president of the Iowa Neuroscience Club and vice president for the University of Iowa Swing Dance club. As a Latham Fellow, Laura hopes to improve her ability to translate science into language that people of all ages and backgrounds can not only understand, but enjoy exploring for themselves. In her free time, Laura loves learning other languages, dancing, singing, taking walks, and doing jiujitsu.