Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Things about the brain you don’t really need to know....

Last night I hosted a trivia night at the annual Queensland Brain Institute Cognitive Neuroscience lab retreat at Stradbroke Island, and below are a few of the questions that I asked the 21 trivia players. Have a go at answering them! You can scroll down the bottom of the post to see the answers.

1. How much of your body’s energy does your brain use?

2. Awakenings is a film about Oliver Sacks and how he awakened about 20 patients from a catatonic state with a then experimental drug. Name the drug.

3. Which ex-Playboy playmate thinks that vaccinating children gives them autism?

4. What’s the name of the Hitchcock film that shares its title with a disorder that might arise from a problem with your semi-circular canal?

5. Which Hollywood star has publicly labeled psychiatry and psychology as a “pseudoscience”, because he “knows the history of psychiatry”? (The star uses the terms psychiatry and psychology interchangeably although they are quite different.)

6. Which internationally renowned UQ-based researcher might you find photographed with owls?

7. Apart from being a bad actress, what is Drew Barrymore’s affliction in the movie 50 First Dates?

8. True or False? A recent study found that, when lost, people really do walk in circles.

9. *Fight Club spoiler alert* In Fight Club, how does Edward Norton’s character cure himself of dissociative identity disorder (aka multiple personality disorder)?

10. Which of the following researchers does not belong with the others: Freud; Skinner; James; Seligman; Milgram?

Don’t be disheartened if you found it difficult - I managed to stump even some senior researchers! Here are the answers:

1. 20% was the answer I accepted for trivia (but I can't find the source I used), although this site suggests it's more like only 10%!
2. L-Dopa
3. Jenny McCarthy
4. Vertigo
5. Tom Cruise
6. Professor Jack Pettigrew
7. Anterograde amnesia
8. True!
9. He shoots himself in the head (and survives!)
10. Milgram is the odd one out. According to a review in 2002, the first 4 authors are the most cited psychologists of all time. Milgram came in down the list at #45.

Of course, if you disagree with any of my answers or want to suggest your own for any reason, please leave comments using the comments option at the bottom of this post!
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