Education Outreach

The Building Blocks of the Brain

The Building Blocks of the Brain

About this lesson

The content of this lesson develops the link between gene expression, explores the functions and specialization of various brain regions, and compares studies of the brain at the level of genes, neurons, and regions. It also introduces open research questions in the world of neuroscience. Students are guided through a data set that is under active development and are encouraged to consider current and future research.

The datasets used in the virtual experiment portion of this unit comes from Allen Brain Map, a group of open datasets encompassing gene expression in the brain, visual behavior, properties of neurons, neural development, and more. Students will learn what kind of data is collected in research settings and begin learning how it can be used.

The full lesson plan includes learning objectives, Next Generation Science Standards and Advanced Placement alignments, a teacher guide, suggested timing, and lesson materials.

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