UTA team wins Brain Bowl neuroscience quiz show


Credit: UTA

A University of Texas at Arlington team has won the 2017 Brain Bowl organized by University of Texas Health Science Center – San Antonio Center for Biomedical Neuroscience, beating out teams from Trinity University and the defending champions University of Texas at Dallas.

The Brain Bowl is modeled after the 1960's quiz show University Challenge and includes three rounds of short answer questions that increase in difficulty with each round. The final round is comprised of a single complex challenge question, where teams wager points they have accumulated in the previous rounds.

"All five members of our team are active members of my behavioral neuroscience laboratory," said Linda Perrotti, UTA associate professor of psychology and team mentor. "We made a victorious comeback to reclaim the title of Brain Bowl Champions after having lost it to UT Dallas in 2015. We also get to house the Brain Bowl Trophy on our campus for another year."

The questions asked during Brain Bowl cover many fields of neuroscience research, including neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, neurochemistry, neuropharmacology and behavioral neuroscience.

The Brain Bowl is sponsored annually by the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio and is a premier event within Brain Awareness Week for the neuroscience community.

The first Brain Bowl was held in 1998. To date, nine Texas universities have competed; Texas Lutheran, Saint Mary's, University of Texas San Antonio, Trinity, Southwestern, University of Texas at Austin, UTA, Baylor, and Texas A&M.

In 2013, UTA won their first Brain Bowl against the then defending champs, Trinity University, and the University of Texas at San Antonio. The following year our team went on to successfully defend their championship in 2014.

UTA psychology chair Perry Fuchs was one of those congratulating the team on this important success: "UTA's team took on this challenge of cross-disciplinary quiz knowledge about neuroscience and beat out great teams from across Texas," Perry said. "It also clearly reflects on the leadership of UTA in the growing field of neuroscience."

The winning 2017 Brain Bowl Champions are:

Brandon Butler:

Anthropology and biology 2016 graduate. Research technician in Dr. Perrotti's lab group. Intends to apply to graduate school for neuroscience doctorate to further research in neuronal cell signaling. Enjoys reading, music, walking, and Japanese culture.

Josimar Hernandez:

Psychology major, minoring in biology. Intends to complete a medical degree and doctorate to improve psychiatric health care. Enjoys reading, meditating and 80s music.

Ariel Elmore:

Psychology major, will begin pursuing her doctorate in neuroscience at UTA starting in the Fall 2017 semester. Enjoys reading, cooking and hiking.

J.C. (John) Holt:

Biology and psychology major. Intends to complete a doctorate in clinical psychology to help people struggling with mental health issues. Enjoys trying new foods, reading, learning random facts and reading comics.


About The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a Carnegie Research-1 "highest research activity" institution. With a projected global enrollment of close to 57,000, UTA is one of the largest institutions in the state of Texas. Guided by its Strategic Plan 2020 Bold Solutions|Global Impact, UTA fosters interdisciplinary research and education within four broad themes: health and the human condition, sustainable urban communities, global environmental impact, and data-driven discovery. UTA was recently cited by U.S. News & World Report as having the second lowest average student debt among U.S. universities. U.S. News & World Report lists UTA as having the fifth highest undergraduate diversity index among national universities. The University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is ranked as the top four-year college in Texas for veterans on Military Times' 2017 Best for Vets list.

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