The International Brain Bee Competition
The local brain bees are the first qualifying round of the IBB competition. These are held in the year round, but most often occur in January or February (before the International Brain Bee Championship) at more than fifty sites across the world. These Local Brain Bee competitions are sponsored by organizations like colleges, museums, neuroscience associations, pharmaceutical companies and others. The winner from each local bee will be invited to his or her National Brain Bee later that year.
The National Brain Bees are the second qualifying round of the IBB competition. The national bees will be held in each participating country, and the winner from each country's bee will be invited to the International Brain Bee Championship.
The International Brain Bee Championship is the highest level in the IBB Competition - participation in the championship is reserved only for National Brain Bee Champions, and is therefore a very distinguished event. Young men and women from all over the world compete to determine who has the "best brain" on such topics as intelligence, memory, emotions, stress, aging, sleep, and neurological disease. In order to be eligible to participate in the international competition, high school students must win in their respective local and national bees.
The 2011 International Brain Bee Championship involves five parts. The maximum score is 100 points.
- Human Neuroanatomy Practical (25%). This involves competitors rotating through stations consisting of whole and half human brains. Parts of the brains are labeled with pins numbered from 1 to 25. Students must recall the names and/or functions of the indicated parts and write them on their answer sheets. Students can prepare by studying any basic neuroanatomy or neurophysiology textbook or atlas.
- Questions with Written Answers Part 1 (25%). Competitors will be given the same 25 questions orally one at a time. They will have 15 seconds to write the answers on a pad given to them. At the end of the 15 seconds, they will each read their answers out load. Students can prepare by studying Neuroscience: the Science of the Brain (2003)
- Patient Diagnosis (20%) Students will spend 5 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 disorder, choosing from one of the following 12 disorders: bipolar disorder, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, addiction, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, schizophrenia, stroke, Tourette Syndrome, neurological AIDS, chronic pain, and autism. Patients are only allowed to answer “yes”, “no” or “I don’t know” to the 3 questions. Students will select from a list of 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.
- Neurohistology (5%) This involves competitors rotating through stations consisting of histological sections of the brain and nervous system. Students must be able to recall the names of indicated cells and parts of the nervous system. Students can prepare by studying any basic neurohistology text book. All histological sections will be of structions mentioned in Brain Facts
- Questions with Written Answers Part 2 (25%) Ten rounds of different questions are asked of each student. They require a one word or phrase answer. Students can prepare by studying Neuroscience: the Science of the Brain (2003)
Note: The five parts may not be in the order presented above. Details of each part may change depending on local circumstances and availability of resources. There will not be a group competition or a written multiple-choice exam this year.
Questions for the International Brain Bee Championship will come from the British Neuroscience Association's publication - Neuroscience: the Science of the Brain - which is available on their website. For copies of the study resource in 17 different languages, please visit IBRO's Brain Campaign website.
Although this study resource is available in many different languages to accommodate the needs of our international competitors, all of the questions at the IBB Championship will be asked in English. If a competitor does not understand English, it is recommended that a translator accompany the competitor to the competition. If that is not possible, a translator will be provided if a request is submitted to Norbert Myslinski two months in advance of the competition.
A printable and tentative schedule of events for the 2011 International Brain Bee Championship can be found here at a later date. Schedules for current brain bees will be emailed to coordinators as they are available.