High schoolers, start your engines! For the fifth year in a row, the Dana Foundation is sponsoring its “Design a Brain Experiment” competition for teenagers across the country. This is an exciting opportunity for high school students to challenge themselves and come up with their very own brain-related experiment.
The Society for Neuroscience has announced the winners of the 2015 Brain Awareness video contest. Anyone can enter and work with a member of the Society for Neuroscience in their area to produce an educational video about the brain.
The first place winner, Matthew Sugrim’s, video discusses our perception of color and poses the question: “Do We See The Same Red?” The video is a stunningly simple and colorful animation of the neurochemical process of sight, specifically how the brain turns photons into color. He insists that “it is complicated, but it’s not magic. Variations in the composition of cones in our eyes and the exact wiring of our brains may cause very slight variations in color perception.” Regardless, red really is the same red to everyone. Interestingly, many people have learned from the recent viral phenomenon of The Dress that lighting and color context can create much more variance in how people perceive color.
People who play football have a higher number of concussions than those who play any other sport. Which comes second?
- Girl’s soccer
- Boy’s wrestling
- Boy’s ice hockey.
Well, you’ll have to watch the new BrainWorks video about kids and sports-related concussions to hear the answer. I know, not fair, but trust me, it’s a great video!
A signature event of Brain Awareness Week is the Brain Bee, which tests high school students’ knowledge of neuroscience in a live Q&A competition. Students compete in local competitions, which lead to a national competition in Maryland in March, and then on to the International contest, which this year is taking place in Cairns, Australia in August.
Thanks to our friends at Brainfacts.org, I’ve recently learned of another neuroscience quiz show, this time in the undergraduate arena. The Center for Biomedical Neuroscience (CBN) Brain Bowl “includes three rounds of short answer questions that get more difficult with each round. The final round is a complex ‘challenge’ question, where teams can wager points they have accumulated in the previous rounds.” This year’s competing universities are Trinity University, University of Texas at Dallas, and University of Texas at Arlington.
-Ann L. Whitman