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Mind GamesMind Games

Mind Games

Mind Games

Mind Games, from the publishers of Discover magazine, is filled with fun and fascinating puzzles, riddles, illusions, brain teasers, and more, along with articles that explain how the brain works. This 92-page issue includes: - Intriguing articles that explain how your mind works. - 70+ puzzles in five categories: Words, Numbers, Shapes & Sizes, Logic, and Perception & Memory. - Answers to the puzzles — not that you’ll need them!

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Kalmbach Publishing Co. - Magazines
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£7.21

IN THIS ISSUE

access_time1 min.
take your brain for a spin

(WILLIAM ZUBACK/DISCOVER)Nothing is quite as gratifying as figuring something out. Whether it’s where you left your keys or how to solve a Rubik’s Cube, life’s puzzles can vex us all in the moment. But they’re oh-so-satisfying on the other side.That’s what this special Mind Games issue is all about — the sense of supreme satisfaction after nailing an answer that’s doing its best to hide from you. This collection, gathered from the archives of Discover’s best columns by Scott Kim and Eric Haseltine — Bogglers, Mind Games and NeuroQuest — is guaranteed to stretch your brain in every direction: word-based puzzles, number games, visual illusions and more.While the answers are in the back of the book, I urge you to use them sparingly. Dive in and discover the thrill of…

access_time7 min.
does your brain measure up?

To the untrained eye, one human brain seems pretty much like another. But if you look as closely as a brain surgeon does, you find striking variations in size, shape and structure.Could these differences account for behavioral and cognitive variations among people? In the 18th and 19th centuries, investigators such as the German physiologist Franz-Joseph Gall concluded that the answer was a firm yes. They developed the “science” of phrenology: predicting intelligence and personality from the shape of one’s head, which was said to indicate the shape of one’s brain. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, an avid proponent of phrenology, endowed both Sherlock Holmes and the evil genius Moriarty with high foreheads in keeping with his belief that the feature connotes intelligence. But later research discredited phrenology; after all, Einstein didn’t…

access_time5 min.
the hungry eye

Always ravenous for information, the brain acts like a forager that never knows where its next meal is coming from. So it gorges when it finds digestible data. Witness the way snacking on visual hors d’oeuvres helps your brain process speech.EXPERIMENT 1 Jot down which letter you think is mouthed in each of the 10 pictures at left (no fair peeking at the second set of pictures below). You should easily identify at least one letter: O. If you don’t know precisely which letter is mouthed, guess whether it is a vowel or a consonant.Hint: Mouth 4 is a vowel and mouth 2 a consonant. You can make these reasonable guesses because your brain has learned how to gobble up visual information relevant to speech, even when it’s consuming more…

access_time14 min.
matchmaker

Optimized Match is a technique developed by mathematician Sommer Gentry and transplant surgeon Dorry Segev to increase the odds that a patient in need of an organ transplant will find a suitable donor. It is based on graph theory, a branch of mathematics used to analyze diagrams made of dots connected by lines.Sommer Gentry and Dorry SegevORGAN SWAPA problem in organ transplants is that someone who wants to donate to a loved one often can’t because their blood types are incompatible. The solution is to match such a couple with another couple who have the right blood types and swap organs, the donor from each couple giving a kidney to the patient in the other couple. The operations must take place simultaneously and at the same facility. Johns Hopkins and…

access_time3 min.
cover-up

The page you are reading now looks flat and feels flat, but your brain isn’t so certain. That’s because when the brain evolved into its current form about 30,000 years ago, it was programmed for interpreting 3-D objects — especially predators — not images on flat surfaces. As a result, your brain plays tricks on you. For example, the dimensions of the two tabletops above look different, but they are actually identical. The front edge of the table on the left is the same length as the left edge of the table on the right, but it looks shorter because perspective makes it appear closer and therefore smaller. Similarly, the front and rear edges of the right-hand table are actually the same length as the apparently receding long edges of…

access_time6 min.
bugs in the brain

Anyone whose laptop has crashed in the middle of a project has come face to face with a computer bug. Software engineers sometimes inadvertently create these defects by taking shortcuts to reduce the amount of memory or processing power needed for a particular application. Despite causing occasional hiccups, such economies make computers more affordable.Our brains also must occupy a limited space and resort to shortcuts to conserve computational resources. A few of these little cheats are revealed in the following experiments.(ROEN KELLY/DISCOVER)EXPERIMENT 1Take a quarter, place it on the floor, and walk away slowly while keeping your eye fixed on the coin. The image of the quarter shrinks on your retinas as the distance between the coin and you grows. Still, you don’t perceive the coin as smaller; it’s just…

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