June 1, 2014 (Vol. 34, No. 11)


Strong Points: Covers many concepts in easy-to-understand language
Weak Points: Some oversimplification, can’t skip through animations




The NeuroVids app, despite lacking high-tech or especially striking graphics, still achieves its aim of providing an informative science educational tool to middle school and high school audiences. As you might be able to guess from its name, the NeuroVids app uses animations to illustrate basic concepts in neuroscience, specifically with regards to basic neuron anatomy and synaptic transmission. The animated sequences are organized into four topics entitled, the synapse, synapses change, toxins and synapses, and action potential. While some of the material is perhaps oversimplified, even for its younger audience (for example, “When my dendrites taste the neurotransmitter, new electrical signals form in them”), the app does go on to introduce more advanced topics like concentration gradients and excitatory post synaptic potentials. Seasoned researchers probably won’t have the patience to sit through the animations, but the app could be a great tool for classroom visits or outreach events.

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