The competition will be divided into five sections: the podium, written, neuroanatomy, neurohistology, and neurodegenerative diseases sections.
The Podium Section
This section of the competition will require students to individually answer questions
posed to them. The student should give a one-word answer or a short phrase.
Example 1: What is the large bundle of fibres that connects the two cerebral
hemispheres of the brain called?
Answer: Corpus callosum.
Example 2: Name the simple test used to determine the differences in
sensitivity to touch at different parts of the body.
Answer: Two-point discrimination test.
Questions for this section may be asked on any topic from the booklet Neuroscience:
Science of the Brain, or sections 1, 2 & 3 of this supplementary booklet. Each student
has up to 15 seconds to respond to a question. Each student may ask to have the
question repeated once. If the question is repeated, the timer is stopped while the
question is being repeated. No more than one answer may be given to a question.
This section of the competition will require students to answer questions based upon images from the booklet Neuroscience: Science of the Brain. They will be required to
give a written answer. This may require the student to write a few short sentences or to label a diagram.
Example 1: During an action potential, which ion channels are the first to
Example 2: Label the missing structures on the following diagram of the eye.
Image-based questions will only be based on images on pages 3-5, 14-15, 20 and 39
of the booklet ‘Neuroscience of the Brain’. The student will not be asked about
historical events, specific scientists or specific experiments.
This section of the competition will require the students to be able to identify the
following structures on models or images of the central nervous system:
Spinal Cord, Forebrain, Midbrain, Hindbrain & Brainstem, Cerebrum, Diencephalon, Cerebral Cortex, Corpus Callosum & Olfactory Bulbs, Frontal, Parietal, Temporal & Occipital Lobes, Hippocampus, Thalamus, Hypothalamus, Optic Chiasm, Pituitary Gland
Medulla Oblongata, Pons & Cerebellum, Lateral, Third & Fourth Ventricles, Cerebral Aqueduct & Interventricular Foramina, Medial Longitudinal Fissure, Central Sulcus, Lateral Sulcus, Parieto-Occipital Sulcus.
This section of the competition will require the student to be able to identify
different types of neural tissue from a histological photo. There will be eight photos,
each featuring a thin piece of tissue from one of the following:
Spinal Cord; Cerebral Cortex; Cerebellum; Hippocampus; Retina; Taste Bud; Pacinian Corpuscle & Peripheral Nerve.
Neurodegenerative Diseases Section
This section of the competition will require students to be able to diagnose a
neurodegenerative disease based upon the symptoms presented in a short video
clip. Students should be familiar with the following neurodegenerative diseases:
Huntington’s Disease; Parkinson’s Disease; Alzheimer’s Disease & Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.