a. Students will learn the basic concept of chemical transmissions at the synapse.
b. Students will learn the key names of neurons and neurotransmitters.
c. Students will understand how psychoactive drugs affect neural signals.
d. Students will develop eye hand coordination and teamwork skills through relay race activities.
Selection of the following songs composed by Mozart:
1. Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, K525
2. Divertimento in D Major, K 136
3. Allegro con spirito from the Sonata in D Major for Two pianos, K 448
4. Allegro from the Sonata in F Major, K 376
5. Andante from Symphony #13 in F Major, K 112
At warm - ups begin playing musical scores and discuss how the brain sends messages throughout the body. During warm -ups explain to the class the Mozart Effect and the possible causes of its influence.
To model the chemical process of the neurotransmitters at the synapse, each student can be a neuron. One arm is the dendrite, the body is the cell body and the other arm is the axon. By arranging students in a circle, "neural connections" can be created. Each student will hold an object: ball, beanbag, or a container of water acting as a neurotransmitter. Students begin passing the neurotransmitter from one student to the next, simulating transmission of information through the neural chain. Here you can discuss the types of chemicals being transmitted and their actions to include myelin, node of Ranvier, and Saltatory Conduction.
The effects of psychoactive drugs or inhibiting neurotransmitters can be discussed when a ball or object is blocked or dropped as it is passed. At the conclusion of this activity students will become aware of the chemical process of neural connections, which sends messages throughout the body.
Homework select one of three handouts in appendix A.