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Neurobics: Pattern Hunt

Kim, Scott Ph.D

doi: 10.1097/01.NNN.0000441120.77925.a7
Departments: The Waiting Room

Neurobics: The latest brain teaser from puzzlemaster Scott Kim, Ph.D., coauthor, with neuroscientist Richard Restak, M.D., of The Playful Brain.

Get ready to test your recognition.

Within the colored grid below lurk many patterns. Some patterns are easier to spot than others. For instance, can you spot a clump of four tiles in a square that are all the same color? How many such clumps are there? Chances are you found the two clumps (red and blue) quickly, because your perceptual system is good at locating large patches of color.

Now try counting how many times each of the following patterns occurs. Notice how the patterns get harder and harder to find. Also notice how your perceptual system seems to change gears as you move from one pattern to the next, adjusting itself to look for different cues.

A Four adjacent tiles in a horizontal or vertical line, all the same color.

Figure. No caption a...

B Four adjacent tiles in a square clump that alternate between just two colors, like a checkerboard.

C Four adjacent tiles in a horizontal or vertical line that alternate between just two colors, like a checkerboard.

D Four adjacent tiles in a square clump that include all four colors.

E Four adjacent tiles in a horizontal or vertical line that include all four colors.

© 2013 American Academy of Neurology