Local fifth- through seventh-grade students performed peer review of a neuroscience article, as part of the Frontiers for Young Minds program to introduce science topics and methods to young students.
Frontiers for Young Minds is an open-access science journal whose content is written for and reviewed by elementary students. As a review editor for Frontiers in Neuroscience, Paul Nealen (Biology) was invited to oversee the review of a Young Minds neuroscience article that described a novel use of oxytocin as a potential way to improve social facilitation in persons afflicted with autism or schizophrenia.
In partnership with the faculty at St. Bernard Regional Elementary School, Nealen discussed the science involved and the importance of peer review, and helped the students interpret and critique the article.
“The students were very interested, and very impressive in their review,” Nealen reported. “Even with their limited scientific vocabulary, they were able to express complicated thoughts relating to experimental design, treatment assessment, and efficacy. And, they were remarkably sophisticated in their thinking!”
The elementary students and their teachers provided very positive feedback on the review experience, and the students’ review was returned to the article authors to guide their revision of the article, which was recently published in its final form.
College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics