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Activities & Experiments

Fantastic Facts

  • Ever wondered about the explanation behind the saying "running around like a chicken with its head cut off"? When you sever a chicken's brain from its spinal cord, you cut off the voluntary control of movement. However, many of a chicken's basic movements, such as walking (gait), are involuntary and are controlled by electric impulses that originate at the spinal cord level. This gait pattern can persist until the chicken's muscles run out of energy.

  • Why is epilepsy described as an "electrical storm" in the brain? Nerve cells in the brain communicate with each other through tiny electrical signals. During an epileptic seizure, some or all of these cells suddenly begin to fire together, causing a wave of electrical energy that sweeps through the brain. Many muscles contract, or seize, all at the same time.

  • What was the force that brought the monster in Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein to life? A jolt of electricity, of course.

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