The Big Brain Experiment

5 Mini-Missions into the Mind

Explore remarkable parts of the brain with fun and engaging experiments for the whole class.

(And you don’t need a degree in Psychology or Neuroscience to be involved!)




Reading a list of mismatched colours and words sounds simple enough but turns out to be quite challenging for most people. This fun and simple experiment tests the selective attention capacity and processing speed of the brain.


To test the selective attention capacity of a person’s brain (or how it decides which bits of information to use and which to try and ignore.)


A clock or stopwatches, List 1 and List 2 (these can be printed out and given out from the pdf below, or images provided can be used on a smart board for the whole class).

Approximate time needed:

approx 30 min

Downloadable Teacher PDF resource:

Experiment summary and Results tables

 List 1 and List 2 in a PDF (if you wish to print and distribute)

Extra resources:

Images for List 1 & List 2 (if you wish to display them one at a time on a screen)


Video One – The Experiment

Video Two – The Science

Video Three –  Teacher Tips

And a special thanks to…

Assoc. Prof. Tasha Stanton (University of SA) for her enthusiasm, help and generally being a guru on all things about the brain and pain.

National Science Week

If you only do some science once a year, that is still better than not doing it. So get stuck in and find out what your brain has to offer.

Inspo from U of W

The University of Washington has an old, but great web resource – Neuroscience for Kids. It was a great inspiration for the Big Brain Experiments.

University of Washington seal

The Big Brain Experiment is being run by Dr Rob and Experimentary, because we love science (you’re welcome).