NIDA for Teens: The Science Behind Drug Abuse
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An Introduction to the Brain and Nervous System (Module 1)

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This introductory module is designed to help students learn about the parts of the brain, their functions, and how the brain communicates with the rest of the body. The process of neurotransmission is described in detail. This module provides a key foundation for the next five modules, which discuss the impact of specific drugs on the body and the brain.

Students will refer to the information covered in this introductory module throughout the entire Brain Power! curriculum. If students did not participate in Brain Power! The NIDA Junior Scientists Program for grades K–5, you may need to cover the information in this module in greater depth.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this module, students can:

  • Name the main parts of the brain: the cerebral cortex, hypothalamus, cerebellum, brain stem, and limbic system.
  • Identify the lobes of the cerebral cortex: frontal, parietal, occipital, and temporal.
  • Explain the functions of the major brain parts.
  • Identify the components of a neuron: cell body, dendrites, and axon.
  • Explain the process of neurotransmission.


Download this entire module in PDF format at the following link: Module 1 (PDF, 796 KB).