Nominations sought for Brain Bee contestants

Press Release

Nominations are being sought from teachers and school administrators for students to compete in the San Diego Regional Brain Bee on Jan. 29 at the Neurosciences Institute.

The event engages local high school students interested in the brain in a friendly, one-day competition, and provides them with opportunities to engage with top scientists from local research institutes and universities and to meet college and graduate science students. They’ll be quizzed about the brain and how it relates to intelligence, memory, emotions, sensations, movement, stress, aging, sleep and neurological disorders such as drug addiction, Alzheimer’s disease and stroke.

The winner will receive a $500 gift certificate, trophy, and airfare and hotel for two with an invitation to compete at the National Brain Bee in mid-March 2011.

Only two students (ninth- to 12th-grade) per school may be nominated, with names being submitted no later than Dec. 3. Student names and their grade-level must be sent from a school email account to or mailed on official school letterhead to Dr. Doug Nitz at UCSD, 9500 Gilman Drive, Mail Code 0515, La Jolla, CA 92093-0515. Once a student has been nominated by their school, they must register via the online application at

by 11:59 p.m. Dec. 10,

The first 75 qualified students will be accepted and they will be notified by Dec. 21.

Local sponsorships are being sought to help underwrite the costs and promote the contest.

Questions for the local Brain Bee will be derived from the latest edition of “Brain Facts” published by the Society for Neuroscience. The book is available to download from the Society for Neuroscience web site


For more information, contact Debbie Honeycutt at (858)-626-2020 or at


Here are some sample questions posted at

that were released by the International Brain Bee.

• Approximately how many neurons does the brain contain?

• Name the device that measures brain waves.

• Stargazer mice are experimental models for which type of epilepsy?

• Prozac relieves symptoms of depression by affecting which neurotransmitter?

• The Greek word for the branches of a tree give us the name of what part of a neuron?

• Name the surgical procedure that destroys part of the basal ganglia and helps Parkinson’s patients.

• The biological clock is located in what part of the brain?

To find the answers, go to the website and click on “Prepare.”