Departments: The Waiting Room
Kim, Scott Ph.D.
Throughout the day we switch between activities that engage different parts of the brain. When you read a book you use the part of your brain that processes language. When you arrange photographs in a scrapbook you use your visual brain.
Being able to switch from one mode of thinking to another is a valuable skill. For instance, someone who has trouble remembering spoken names may be able to compensate by associating names with images.
Here is a visual thinking puzzle involving letters. Match each of the 26 details below with one of the letters on the right. For instance, detail 5 comes from the top of the H. All details are right side up and magnified the same amount. Some details match more than one letter, but there is only one way to match every detail with a different letter. For instance, detail 5 could have come from B, D, H, or L, but we can eliminate B, D, and L because there are other details that match only those letters.
ANSWERS ON P. 12
This puzzle was adapted from the book The Playful Brain: The Surprising Science of How Puzzles Improve Your Mind, by Richard Restak and Scott Kim (Riverhead Books 2010). For more information, visit theplayfulbrain.com.