Welcome to the Backyard Brains experiments page for scientists, teachers and amateurs alike. Below you will find all of our open source experiments, lesson plans and useful information. If you are an educator, you may be interested in what Educational Standards our lesson plans adhere too. Additionally, we list which specific standards are being met at the bottom of each lesson plan.
Getting Started with the SpikerBox
In this module, you will listen to action potentials and view "spikes" in real time. An excellent starting point for your SpikerBox.
Getting Started with the Electromyogram (EMG) SpikerBox
You can listen to the electrical impulses of muscles at rest and during contraction. An excellent starting point for your EMG SpikerBox.
Effect of Temperature on Neurons
investigate the effect of temperature on the firing rate of neurons
By manipulating the barbs on the cockroach leg, you can measure neural adaptation times and gain insight into learning.
Microstimulation of Neurons and Muscles
It's the 1780's all over again. Investigate excitability of nervous and muscle tissue with this experiment.
Referencing your Spikes
There's no such thing as a perfect ground, but some grounds are better than others, depending on what you are studying.
Anuradha Rao Memorial Experiment: Effect of Nicotine and MSG on Neurons
We now move to the cricket cercal preparation to investigate neuropharmacology
What if we fed the neural activity of one cockroach leg into another? Neural Engineering 101 in session.
Introduction to Conduction Velocity (Neural Speed)
With our 2-Channel SpikerBox, you can measure how fast action potentials travel down a nerve. How fast are they?
Comparing Speeds of Two Nerve Fiber Sizes
Learn about cable theory and the different speeds of two nerve systems in the worm.
The Faraday Cage
A simple piece of metal screening can drastically reduce electrical noise. But how does it work?
How does the SpikerBox actually amplify spikes? Here we dive into the properties of a wonderful invention: the transistor.
Muscle Action Potentials
It's not only axons that carry APs. Muscles have motor unit action potentials that we can record from too.
How Your Eye Detects Color and Motion
What are the limits of color and motion detection by your eye? You can measure it with a friend.
How Your Skin Senses
How well does your skin and brain interpret touch information? Breakout the measuring tools and blindfold someone to find out.
How Fast Your Brain Reacts To Stimuli
What is the difference between reaction and reflex, and how fast is your reaction time? Sit someone down and record them catching falling objects to find out.