The Reading / Listening - Brains - Level 5

Researchers from the University of Michigan have found that astronauts' brains change shape during spaceflight. It is the first study to look into how the brain changes in space. Researchers looked at high-tech MRI pictures of the brains of 26 astronauts who spent time in space. Twelve of the astronauts spent two weeks on the Space Shuttle, and 14 spent six months on the International Space Station. All of them experienced increases and decreases in the size of different parts of the brain. The longer an astronaut spent in space, the bigger the size differences were.



The research produced some interesting findings. One was that no gravity means fluids do not drop in the body, so there is a shift in the brain's position inside the skull. The brain becomes either more squashed or bigger. The findings could help doctors to treat problems that affect the brain's function. They could treat people with problems caused by long-term bed rest. They could also help those who have a build-up of fluid in the brain, which can lead to brain damage. We will understand more about how neurons in the brain connect. The findings will also help future trips to Mars.

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Brains - Level 4 or  Brains - Level 6

Sources
  • http://www.futurity.org/astronauts-brains-space-1348942/
  • http://www.nature.com/articles/s41526-016-0001-9
  • https://www.inverse.com/article/27330-astronaut-brain-change-shape-space


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



Phrase Matching

Paragraph 1

  1. change
  2. the first study to look
  3. high-tech MRI
  4. the brains
  5. increases and
  6. different parts
  7. The longer an astronaut spent
  8. the bigger the size
  1. of the brain
  2. pictures
  3. differences were
  4. shape
  5. in space
  6. of 26 astronauts
  7. into how
  8. decreases in the size

Paragraph 2

  1. The research produced some
  2. fluids do not drop
  3. there is a shift in the
  4. inside the
  5. either more squashed
  6. affect the brain's
  7. a build-up of
  8. how neurons in the brain
  1. fluid in the brain
  2. brain's position
  3. or bigger
  4. function
  5. connect
  6. interesting findings
  7. skull
  8. in the body

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Researchers from the University of Michigan (1) ___________________ astronauts' brains change shape during spaceflight. It (2) ___________________ to look into how the brain changes in space. Researchers (3) ___________________-tech MRI pictures of the brains of 26 astronauts who spent time in space. Twelve of the astronauts spent two weeks on the Space Shuttle, and 14 (4) ___________________ on the International Space Station. (5) ___________________ experienced increases and decreases in the size of different parts of the brain. The longer an astronaut spent in space, the (6) ___________________ differences were.

The research (7) ___________________ interesting findings. One was that no gravity (8) ___________________ not drop in the body, so there is a shift in the brain's position (9) ___________________. The brain becomes either more squashed or bigger. The findings could help doctors to treat problems that affect the brain's function. They could (10) ___________________ problems caused by long-term bed rest. They could also help those who have a build-up of fluid in the brain, which can (11) ___________________ damage. We will understand more about (12) ___________________ the brain connect. The findings will also help future trips to Mars.

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

ResearchersfromtheUniversityofMichiganhavefoundthatastronauts'
brainschangeshapeduringspaceflight.Itisthefirststudytolookintoho
wthebrainchangesinspace.Researcherslookedathigh-techMRIpictu
resofthebrainsof26astronautswhospenttimeinspace.Twelveoftheas
tronautsspenttwoweeksontheSpaceShuttle,and14spentsixmonthso
ntheInternationalSpaceStation.Allofthemexperiencedincreasesand
decreasesinthesizeofdifferentpartsofthebrain.Thelongeranastronau
tspentinspace,thebiggerthesizedifferenceswere.Theresearchprodu
cedsomeinterestingfindings.Onewasthatnogravitymeansfluidsdono
tdropinthebody,sothereisashiftinthebrain'spositioninsidetheskull.T
hebrainbecomeseithermoresquashedorbigger.Thefindingscouldhel
pdoctorstotreatproblemsthataffectthebrain'sfunction.Theycouldtre
atpeoplewithproblemscausedbylong-termbedrest.Theycouldalsohe
lpthosewhohaveabuild-upoffluidinthebrain,whichcanleadtobraind
amage.Wewillunderstandmoreabouthowneuronsinthebrainconnect
.ThefindingswillalsohelpfuturetripstoMars.

Student survey

Write five GOOD questions about this topic in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper. When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

(Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

Discussion — Write your own questions

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

(a) ________________

(b) ________________

(c) ________________

(d) ________________

(e) ________________

(f) ________________

(g) ________________

(h) ________________

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

(i) ________________

(j) ________________

(k) ________________

(l) ________________

(m) ________________

(n) ________________

(o) ________________

(p) ________________





Free writing

Write about this topic for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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Answers

(Please check your answers against the article above.

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