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UTA psychology team claims 3rd Brain Bowl championship

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 from the University of Texas at Dallas.

The Brain Bowl is modeled after the 1960s 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 the 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; UTA, Texas Lutheran, Saint Mary's, University of Texas at San Antonio, Trinity, Southwestern, University of Texas at Austin, Baylor, and Texas A&M.

In 2013, UTA won its first Brain Bowl against the then defending champs, Trinity University, and the University of Texas at San Antonio. The following year UTA’s team went on to successfully defend their championship, and then was runner-up to UT Dallas in 2015.

UTA psychology professor and department 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,” Fuchs said. “It also clearly reflects on the leadership of UTA in the growing field of neuroscience.”

The members of UTA’s winning 2017 team include:

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

Josimar Hernandez
Psychology major, minoring in biology. Intends to complete a
UTA Brain Bowl team members, from left, Brandon Butler, Josimar Hernandez, Ariel Elmore, J.C. Holt, Ariel Elmore and team mentor Linda Perrotti.

medical degree and doctorate to improve psychiatric health care. Enjoys reading, meditating and 1980s 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 College of Science
The UTA College of Science is addressing the nation’s pressing need for a larger and better-prepared STEM work force. The College has 42 undergraduate and graduate degree offerings in six departments and is equipping future leaders in science through award-winning classroom teaching and lab training. The College’s internationally acclaimed faculty is leading the way in innovative research and is finding solutions to some of the world’s most challenging problems. Visit www.uta.edu/cos to learn more about how the College of Science is changing the world through education and research.

Posted May 19, 2017