activity page will offer:
Construction of a unique phrenology map.
of a map that shows brain regions according to modern research.
opportunity to compare and contrast brain models.
inexpensive bathing cap (cleaned)
pencils or non-toxic permanent markers that will write on bathing
in groups of two. Review the phrenology chart shown below. Although
37 mental and moral areas are defined on more elaborate phrenology
charts, we've based our drawing on a chart that simplified and combined
these "organs" into larger, composite regions. If you wish to view
a more detailed phrenology chart, click here
- Have one member of your team assume the role of subject. The
other becomes the artist.
- Have your subject put on the bathing cap and adjust it for comfort.
- As the artist, draw the regions as illustrated on the phrenology
chart onto one side bathing cap. Use different colors to distinguish
- Remove the bathing cap.
Note: When removing and handling the cap, be careful not
to smear the ink.
out this illustration showing the major regions of the brain.
Can you and your partner identify the name and function of the
six regions highlighted here? Use both Web and hard copy resources
to conduct your research. Cerebrum -larger section of brain
that is responsible for higher thinking and voluntary muscle control
Frontal lobe - higher thought functions
Temporal lobe - memory, sound processing
Occipital lobe - processes visual information
Parietal lobes - sensation and judgment, visual/spatial processing,
language (left side)
Cerebellum - muscle coordination and balance
Brain stem - breathing, digestion, heart beat and other automatic
- Have the new "subject" put on the bathing cap. Using the information
you uncovered, draw an illustration on the opposite and blank
side of the bathing cap that shows these brain regions.
- When you are finished, thorough clean both your hands and workstations.
Remove any unwanted marker stains.
- How is the phrenology chart similar to our modern day chart
of the brain? Do any of its assigned areas match the correct functions
of the brain?
- How is the phrenology chart different from out modern day brain
- What were phrenology charts based upon?
- What is our modern day understanding of brain anatomy based
What are the advantages in using a bathing
cap for creating this model?
What are the disadvantages?
you animate a flipbook "trip" through the brain? Think about the
cross-section images of the brain taken by the MRI scanner in the
program. Use online resources to help create a better idea of what
this series of views might look like (see the Web Connection below).
Then sketch each cross section onto a separate scrap of paper. When
all the frames have been drawn, use a large clip to fasten the stack
together and flip through the frames. At the right flipping speed,
it will appear as if you are moving through the brain, section-by-section!
Critical Thinking and the Web
There is no insurance that Web sites are fair and unbiased in their
presentation of material. The pseudoscience of phrenology offers
an excellent arena for exploring and critically analyzing information
that is presented on the Internet. For example, the following Web
site states that its primary goal is to be an "advocate for a positive
approach to scientific Phrenology." Under your instructor's guidance,
examine this site and then discuss the subject of accurate information
on the Web with your classmates. The URL is http://126.96.36.199/phreno/index.html
How might the footstep profiles captured by an "intelligent floor"
be used to improve elevator service? Should this intelligent floor
be placed inside or outside of the elevator, or both? Explain the
benefits of each approach. Could it address pranksters who might
press all of the floor buttons? If so, how? How might the floor
address a car that was overloaded?
The ability to track individuals on a floor might be interpreted
as a challenge to a person's right to anonymity. Do you think this
violates a person's rights as guaranteed by the constitution? Should
a person need to sign a release in order for his/her footstep profile
to be recorded? Suppose you were a lawyer who challenged the legality
of this process? How would you present your case?
the History of Brain Localization
A detailed history of phrenology, including many illustrations.
Whole Brain Atlas
This interactive atlas that shows brain sections and structure.
- Secret Life of the Brain
Take this interactive, 3-D tour of the brain
(Shockwave plug-in required).
activities in this guide were contributed by Michael DiSpezio, a
Massachusetts-based science writer and author of "Critical Thinking
Puzzles" and "Awesome Experiments in Light & Sound" (Sterling Publishing
Academic Advisors for this Guide:
Corrine Lowen, Science Department, Wayland Public Schools, Wayland,
Suzanne Panico, Science Teacher Mentor, Cambridge Public Schools,
Anne E. Jones, Science Department, Wayland Middle School, Wayland,