Physics: Electricity in my brain
June 15, 2009
Posted By: Robert Corbin
Is there electricity in my brain? (Age 8)
Wow that is a really good science question! Yes, there is electricity in the brain but it is in a different form from the type of electricity that powers the television. When we describe the electricity in a television, we can explain that it is created by electrons being pushed through a tunnel called a circuit. However, the electricity in our brain is a little more complicated. Inside brain cells are molecules; these molecules are made up of tiny neurons that are charged with energy. Special chemical de-coders called neurotransmitters help the body receive the electrical charges from the tiny neurons. These neurotransmitters are responsible for making a pathway for the energy to travel through the body’s cells. Once the electrical charges have reached a nerve, the body’s nervous system can interpret what to do, like move certain muscles or feel pain if we hurt ourselves. The important thing to understand is that the electricity in our brain is a mix of neurons that have energy and chemicals (neurotransmitters) that move the neuron’s electrical signals to the rest of the body. The electricity needed to power the television does not need to have chemicals to move the electrical signals.
Now that you know how the brain uses energy, keep using your own brain to be a good scientist!
Vice President, Learning Experiences 25 Posts
Prior to joining Discovery Place in 2007, Robert Corbin spent 15 years in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system, teaching science and serving as a Science Academic Content Coach and mentor. He has developed science curricula for the Weather Channel, Paramount Pictures, the ASPCA, and the Environmental Literacy Council. He also wrote curriculum to accompany Al Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth.
Robert holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Urban Education from UNC-Charlotte, a M.A. in Natural Science Teaching from the University of South Carolina and a B.S. in Science Education from Michigan State University.