How to Prepare for Brain Bee Competitions

LOCALS: Students can prepare for Local Chapter Brain Bees by studying Brain Facts, a resource published by the Society for Neuroscience. It is available online as a free PDF download. It is also available as an audio version here. Please contact your local brain bee coordinator for details and exceptions, especially in non-English speaking contries. Local Brain Bees conducted in countries where English is not the primary language may use the British Neuroscience Association's publication Neuroscience: the Science of the Brain, as it is available in many languages. These translations can be found at the International Brain Research Organization's website.

REGIONALS: Students can prepare for any Regional Brain Bee by studying Brain Facts, or the British Neuroscience Association's publication Neuroscience: the Science of the Brain or other material. For more information on the procedures and rules of a specific Regional Brain Bee, please contact its coordinator.

WORLD: The format for the 2018 International Brain Bee World Championship is TBA.

Sample Competition Format for USA Championships 

The 2018 Championship will be worth 100 points. The competition will be divided into six parts as follows:

            1. Human Neuroanatomy Practical (25%). This involves 25 stations with whole or half human brains that have pins sticking in different parts. Students must recall their names and/or functions and write them on their answer sheets. Students can prepare by studying any basic neuroanatomy or neurophysiology textbook or atlas. Each question will be worth 1 point.

            2. Written Test (10%). All competitors are given the same 50 multiple-choice questions. Students can prepare by studying Brain Facts (2012) which can be obtained free and Neuroscience: the Science of the Brain. Both texts are freely downloadable. Each question will be worth 0.2 point.

            3. Neurohistology (10%) All competitors will rotate through 20 stations, each with either a photo of a histological section. The students will be given a list of possible answers. They must then match the answers with the stations. Students can prepare by studying any basic neuroanatomy or neurohistology textbook or atlas. Each question will be worth 0.5 point.

            4. MRI Identification (10%) All competitors will be shown the same 20 MRI images with an arrow pointing to one of the structures. The students must write the correct name of the structure on their answer forms. Students can prepare by studying any basic brain imaging book or atlas. Each question will be worth 0.5 point.

5. Patient Diagnosis (20%)     Students will spend 4 minutes alone with each of 10 patient actors. By observing them, asking them 3 questions, and ordering 2 laboratory or clinical tests they are to diagnose the patient’s neurological or psychological disorder. Students must then match one of the following 20 disorders with each of the 10 patients: 1) Huntington's Disease 2) Parkinson's Disease 3) Alzheimer's Disease 4) Bipolar Disorder 5) Schizophrenia 6) Autism 7) Epilepsy 8) Stroke 9) Multiple Sclerosis 10) Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis 11) Narcolepsy 12) Korsakoff´s Syndrome 13) Phobia 14) Major Depression 15) Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder 16) Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 17) Alcohol Addiction 18) Tourette's Syndrome 19) Obstructive Sleep Apnea 20) Cerebral Palsy. Patients are only allowed to answer “yes”, “no” or “I don’t know” to the 3 questions. Students will select from a list of diagnostic tests and will immediately be given the results to help their diagnosis. Students can prepare by studying the basic signs, symptoms and diagnostic procedures for these disorders. A concise place to find this is in the Medical Encyclopedia of Medline-Plus that can be found at the National Library of Medicine website: www.nlm.nih.gov. Each correct diagnosis will be worth 2 points.

            6. Oral Question and Answer (25%). The same 25 questions are asked of every student. They require a one word or phrase answer. They will write each answer on a pad of paper. After each question the answers will be read aloud by a moderator to the judges. Students can prepare by studying Brain Facts (2012) published by The Society for Neuroscience and Neuroscience: the Science of the Brain. Each question will be worth 1 point.

Note: Ties for first place will be settled with sudden death elimination with oral questions. A student is eliminated after giving two wrong answers. The last student left standing is the winner. Ties for other places will stand as ties. Ties for second place will divide the prize money equally.

Note: The design of the competition may change due to unforeseen circumstances.