Metro Clarke Road Secondary student Melanie Colvin takes on a little light reading Tuesday in the school library

While most teenagers spend their Saturdays hunting for brains in zombie video games, one London 16-year-old will be handling the real thing this weekend.

Coming off a recent win at the London Brain Bee, Clarke Road Secondary School student Melanie Colvin is preparing to duke it out with some of the best brains in the country during the Canadian National Brain Bee at Hamilton’s McMaster University.

Though the brain bee bears the familiar ring of an old-school spelling bee, the competition is anything but that.

Instead of spelling, high school students are quizzed on topics in neuroscience, answering questions on the brain’s memory functions, stress patterns and diseases.

“It’s quite interesting to see how the brain works and how people function,” said Colvin, who is part of the gifted program at her school and who entered the competition because it, well, looked fun.

Facing off against 12 other Canadian youths, Colvin will go head to head (quite literally) with some of the best young neuroscience minds in a written test, a set of oral questions and an examination of human brain slices.

“We get to fondle them a bit,” Colvin said, excited about the later challenge.

While she loves delving into what makes people tick, Colvin also has a few other passions.

“I really love music,” she said. “I play the saxophone, guitar, piano, violin, and I sing in the school choir.”

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