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Cerebral Plasticity: Brain Exercise: Puzzles, etc.  This thread currently has 3,386 views. Print Print Thread
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san j
Wednesday, January 16, 2013, 9:01pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Do you work out, cerebrally?

LR4YT recommends such as Crossword Puzzles for Bs.
In my family, my A father, A brother, and I always did the NYTimes Puzzle every Sunday. To make it more challenging, I timed it and only used ink. Then I discovered the London puzzles and the Acrostics. It's been years since I've been in the habit, but sometimes I find myself in a waiting room and indulge.

Occasionally I come up against a puzzle in which the clues contain so many Pop Culture references that I'm at a distinct disadvantage, being out of that loop for decades. But most of the time I'm in untarnished form.
I haven't really pushed the Sudoku-style endeavor, and I see there are numerous spin-off forms of this gaining popularity in the papers. Maybe I'll try those soon.

My favorite has, of course, got to be languages. I read aloud just about every day in several.
I also really like learning about totally new fields -- venturing into whole new departments in the bookstore, discovering new websites, reading totally unfamiliar subjects.

It's not as if I'm looking deliberately to "work out"; I'm just doing what I find fun, following my natural bent. I wonder if other Bs find this natural or, rather, find themselves having to push themselves to take Dr. D's advice to exercise the grey matter.

What about non-B's? Jump in:
Do you fancy mental exercise? Which ones in particular?


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Joy
Wednesday, January 16, 2013, 11:18pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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My mother and father used to do the NY Times Crossword puzzle everyday after breakfast.
They didn't do it in ink and they had several dictionaries (but only used them as a last resort.)

After my father passed my mother continued to do the puzzles and/ as you know, the NY Times    
puzzles get progressively more difficult as the week goes on.

In her early nineties she still worked on the puzzles that were sent to her in a book through the Times.   When I was visiting one time she was working on a puzzle that when finished it gave you a clue that you had to figure out.  She completed the puzzle and got the clue.  I was very impressed and told her so.

I did the Times puzzle when I lived in NY but don't anymore.  Now I am obsessed with Lexulous (online scrabble)  I play against the computer (because I don't have the patience to wait for someone in a game to figure out the word they want to use plus I don't like the pressure and time restraints.

I also enjoy "Freerice.com". It has become more diverse and added new subjects over time .
I mainly do the English Vocabulary and the word meanings have a range of 1-60.  I've gotten to 46 at times but I usually pick levels between 35-40.  

Everytime you answer correctly they donate 10 grains of rice to feed the hungry.  There are groups on the site that you can join and they compete to see who has the highest score for that week.

Joy  (Brain exercises from an A.
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jeanb
Thursday, January 17, 2013, 3:17am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I read at least 2 different books a week, 1 fiction 1 non-fiction.  I work in ERP recovery and business consulting, so I usually learn 2-3 different erp systems every year and then learn a business or 2 on top of that.  

I train at least 50 people per year in payroll, gl, job maintenance and setup.  I think learning and then teaching the information keeps my brain happy.  I usually do some snowboard race volunteering, timing and race secretary a few times per year which makes me keep up the the FIS handbook of rules.  

I seem to learn even more quickly when I have lots to learn.  

I don't like games and I really don't like online games...but my brain is full of useless information because of all of the reading I do.

My mother seemed to deteriorate even more quickly when she gave up all of her volunteering.  I don't know if she couldn't do the work anymore brainwise, so she gave it up, or she was tired, gave it up and her brain deteriorated.
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san j
Thursday, January 17, 2013, 4:35am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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These are great!
I was not familiar with Lexulous or freerice, Joy.
And, jeanb: My brain is chock full of information, too, due to plenty reading, but - heck - I don't consider it useless. I find some use for it, one way or other, even if it lies dormant a long time...And learning businesses is really really interesting, when you're in business. I used to do that in my "youth", to pitch to all sorts of prospective clients, developing advertising plans based on the competitive market and various media opportunities. A surprisingly creative endeavor. Thanks for reminding me of the fun value there.

Joy: Dictionaries are/were absolutely off limits for me. I do as much as I can, unassisted. When I've done so, the watch is stopped and time noted. Just another option; it really helps to improve speed. You can always look things up later, if you're really curious...


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Jacquie
Thursday, January 17, 2013, 9:03am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I just checked this website out recently - http://www.lumosity.com/app/v4/personalization

And I'm currently reading this book which has lots of interesting information in it about the brain - http://www.amazon.com/The-Brai.....rds=change+the+brain
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Joy
Thursday, January 17, 2013, 6:10pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Sanj,

Let me be even clearer about the way my parents did the NY Times puzzle.

First of all since they were retired doing the puzzles together after breakfast was a relaxing mind exercise and they did not enjoy being timed.  Some people thrive on the challenge of being timed and that's fine.  They enjoyed each other's company and only used the dictionaries if they could not figure the word into the puzzle.  Alot of times they had filled in most of the puzzle themselves.

They were both in their eighties and still wanted to keep their minds active.  

Joy

I hope, if you choose either online game I mentioned ,that you find they are enjoyable and meet your criteria for keeping your brain cells active.  I find them addictive.
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SquarePeg
Thursday, January 17, 2013, 7:17pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I don't need a brain work out -- it's always working.  Doing Sodoku or Jumble is my way of giving the brain a rest.

This isn't meant as a brag -- I didn't say that my brain is always working well.  


My SWAMI diet is a blend of BTD and GTD Explorer, but I'm not totally compliant.  Also I try to choose foods that have a Low Glycemic index.  DW and DD are A+, probably also Explorer.
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Jane
Thursday, January 17, 2013, 7:33pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I do the crossword puzzles in the Boston Globe which also get progressively harder during the week.  I also really like the Kenken puzzles which also get more difficult as the week goes on.  The easy ones are too easy but the harder ones are fun.  It's similar to Sudoku but doesn't take so long to do.  I normally do them as relaxation when I come home from work.  I'm also really into Words with Friends and have multiple games going on at the same time. I recently joined Lumosity but haven't had the time to do much of it yet. I also bought the book about brain function.
I'm not so structured about the books I read as Jeanb is but I love to read good fiction.  That seems to go in spurts for me.
As most of you know, my Mom suffered with Alzheimer's for over 10 years so brain function is a priority for me.  
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san j
Thursday, January 17, 2013, 10:44pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Joy
Let me be even clearer about the way my parents did the NY Times puzzle.

First of all since they were retired doing the puzzles together after breakfast was a relaxing mind exercise and they did not enjoy being timed.  Some people thrive on the challenge of being timed and that's fine.  They enjoyed each other's company and only used the dictionaries if they could not figure the word into the puzzle.  Alot of times they had filled in most of the puzzle themselves.

They were both in their eighties and still wanted to keep their minds active.

That sounds good to me, Joy. There are certainly many ways to do a puzzle!  
I had a boyfriend who was also hooked on the Times puzzle, so I invented this method of doing it together - vastly different from your parents'?
One of us would answer all the Across clues - the other would answer all the Downs. You could ask the other person "Mind looking at 51 Down? I need that one." This method prevented traffic jams, when two young whippersnappers sat side by side with a couple of pens.
Another way to role-assign is By Subject: Someone may be up on Theatre, the other on Science, for instance...

Quoted from SquarePeg
I don't need a brain work out -- it's always working.  Doing Sodoku or Jumble is my way of giving the brain a rest.

Hi, SquarePeg. Actually, you're not giving your brain a rest. You're simply giving different cells/neurochemicals a workout. Your brain isn't "resting", even when you are fast asleep. So by keeping different functions limber - even if it feels "restful" and effortless - you are, say the brain scientists, doing yourself as much of a favor as you are doing yourself by engaging in a range of physical exercises.

Just because I time my puzzle-doing doesn't mean it's not a very relaxing activity for me, too. Indeed there are many, many athletes, including the pros, who say they enter a kind of "zone" at the peak of balanced performance, that feels like a sort of relaxation...



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san j
Friday, January 18, 2013, 10:04pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I tried a Kakuro puzzle, and it was frustrating for me.
Sudoku is easier.
I did a KenKen easily, but there was - incredibly - a significant typo in the instructions that certainly hung up some novices.

These are all numeric (as opposed to verbal) cross"word" forms of puzzles,
But it does me good to learn/try these, too.


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Amazone I.
Saturday, January 19, 2013, 9:08am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

Rh+ GT 4...E/..INTJ ....prop.=non-taster..
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as far as you're still able to change your agreements in full awareness... no needs to
come along with whatever...coz it's done and adapted automatically .......

but it also will /can be that I'm talkin in     pictures.....

sorry DOS neither am I nuts nor psychically deprived...I am only  an explorer E/INTP ! ......... any further judgements ???????????


MIfHI K-174

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Amazone I.  -  Saturday, January 19, 2013, 4:40pm
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Ribbit
Saturday, January 19, 2013, 4:12pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I like word games like Scrabble and Scattergories.  They're the only games I truly excel at. The children and DH will play Sequence, but I'm too dyslexic (or something) to play it.  The chaos on the board confuses me.  

We don't get the newspaper, but whenever we're at my inlaws' house, I do the little puzzle with the pun.  I don't remember what it's called. Scrambled? You have to unscramble a list of words and then figure out what the little pun/joke is.  Except I don't have to unscramble the words.  That's cheating.   I can pretty quickly figure out the pun based on the information given, the picture and the number of letters needed in the answer.  It's fun.

When we were teenagers nobody would let my sister and I be on the same team in Taboo.  Because of my love for words (my sister called me a walking thesaurus), it wasn't a difficult game to play.

But number games?  No, sir.  Can't do them.

Now I do love Set.  Set is an awesome card game that requires you to match colors/amounts/patterns very quickly.  It's great fun.

I gotta pick on Goldie here.  She likes to talk about young people being the way they are because they've spent their childhood watching TV. We didn't have a TV growing up.  We had pets and games and jigsaw puzzles.  And tools.  So we'd grow a gigantic garden all 3/4 of the year, clear small trees for bike trails through the woods, build forts, fish in the neighbor's pond, play games or sing hymns and folk songs in the evenings as a family, and there was almost always either a Risk game, Monopoly game, or jigsaw puzzle being worked on.  We also all play musical instruments.  So.....Not all "young" people are a certain way because they watch too much TV.  Some of us *aren't* like that because we *didn't* watch TV.  Some of us *are* like "that" (whatever "that" may be) despite no TV.  I wanted to say that on a different thread earlier in the week, but that thread was closed and I didn't get the chance.  

At any rate, our kids don't watch TV either.  Every night we read out loud to them and play a game of their choice.  I hope our children grow up loving to use their brains.  


ISTJ, BTD since 5/05.  Battling chronic Lyme disease since ~1985.

"Everything is permissible for me, but not everything is beneficial..."  I Corinthians 6:12

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gulfcoastguy
Saturday, January 19, 2013, 4:25pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I (like my granmother before me) work the crossword puzzles almost every day. Usually the LA Times version as I can only get the NY times version on sunday. The only online game I play is Mah Jong but I'm pretty good at Gin Rummy and Poker. If I had more time I might play more games online but that would cut into time for reading, cooking, cleaning, gardening, yoga ect.
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Joy
Saturday, January 19, 2013, 5:55pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Ribbit,

I do agree with you about sequence games.  It befuddles my ADD mind (I'm sure alot of people don't or can't understand that but it is what it is).

I love, love, love (yup I do) interior design and space planning and fabrics and patterns.  So, having stated how I feel in no uncertain terms, please tell me where I can get the cards to play the game "Set".  

Thanks.

Joy
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Ribbit
Saturday, January 19, 2013, 6:41pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Oh, oh, oh, you'll like Set then.  

http://www.setgame.com/set/

I think we found it at Toys R Us.


ISTJ, BTD since 5/05.  Battling chronic Lyme disease since ~1985.

"Everything is permissible for me, but not everything is beneficial..."  I Corinthians 6:12

Family: 3 As, 1 B, 1 AB, 1 O
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Jacquie
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I fail at Scrabble. I can only ever think of 4-5 letter words for some reason. It's not like I have a terrible vocabulary either. Just don't enjoy it. I love Scattergories though. Never gets old.

I personally find that TV/movies activate empathy (emotional intelligence) for me so I guess everyone is different in that department and it also depends what you are watching as one show can vastly differ from another.

I like to write (poetry and fantasy world), read and paint a lot too. Creating is good for the brain.
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Joy
Sunday, January 20, 2013, 3:39am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Ribbit,

This is how I'm reading your post:  There's an understanding about creative pursuits and games.
I never heard of this game but I feel I have to have it to keep my creative juices flowing.

Now I'm reading about the link you posted to get the game called Set.  It is about visual perception.
Great!

Last line says you may have gotten the game at "Toys R Us"!  Uh, oh.  This is a kid's game.  I can't possibly go into a store like that and buy that game.  Unless I rent a child (which some parents according to the kind of day they're having just might agree for a certain amount of cash).  I could also borrow a child (again ,for a fee , and then the parent will be lurking in the background making sure the kid is ok), or pretend I'm buying it for my grandchildren.

None of the above are feasible.  Oh well, I am so obsessed with keeping my creativity active that I might just boldly go in the store and buy the game, anyway.

Joy

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ABJoe
Sunday, January 20, 2013, 4:12am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Joy
I can't possibly go into a store like that and buy that game.

None of the above are feasible.  Oh well, I am so obsessed with keeping my creativity active that I might just boldly go in the store and buy the game, anyway.

Why not?  You don't have to say anything to anyone about why you want the game.  As long as you want it and are willing to pay for it, they'll sell it to you without you having to discuss any intent.  

Just go buy it and enjoy keeping your creativity alive.


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Joy
Sunday, January 20, 2013, 4:28am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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ABJoe,

Again, thanks.  I guess I'm just a bit self conscious.  


Joy
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san j
Sunday, January 20, 2013, 4:34am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Joy

Last line says you may have gotten the game at "Toys R Us"!  Uh, oh.  This is a kid's game.  I can't possibly go into a store like that and buy that game.  Unless I rent a child (which some parents according to the kind of day they're having just might agree for a certain amount of cash).  I could also borrow a child (again ,for a fee , and then the parent will be lurking in the background making sure the kid is ok), or pretend I'm buying it for my grandchildren.

None of the above are feasible.  Oh well, I am so obsessed with keeping my creativity active that I might just boldly go in the store and buy the game, anyway.


I'm thinking you're putting us on. But it seems like an awful lot of verbiage, so maybe you really *are* phobic about toy stores?  
If so, definitely start a thread on it - tell us more about this.



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Jacquie
Sunday, January 20, 2013, 10:09am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Everyone is a kid inside
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Joy
Sunday, January 20, 2013, 6:29pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Jacquie,

In one sentence you summed it up!  

I was putting you on a bit, Sanj, but one thing about kids when they are young they "play" unconditionally.  

As we all grow older we are conditioned.  Sometimes, as is my case, I'm trying to become aware of "unlearning" some of the things I learned.

Joy
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san j
Sunday, January 20, 2013, 6:49pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Joy
Jacquie,

In one sentence you summed it up!  

I was putting you on a bit, Sanj, but one thing about kids when they are young they "play" unconditionally.  

As we all grow older we are conditioned.  Sometimes, as is my case, I'm trying to become aware of "unlearning" some of the things I learned.

Joy

Wish I could follow. Are you saying you learned to avoid toy stores? Sorry, I've utterly missed the joke.  



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Joy
Sunday, January 20, 2013, 7:09pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Sanj,

Young children all seem carefree when they play and the world is full of wonder.  They laugh easily and often.  That to me is the "inner child" in all of us that gets lost along the way.  They seem to learn easily.  We all grow up.

Just let it go.   The more it is analyzed the more confusing it will become.

I'm going to get the game.  So there.  

Joy
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san j
Sunday, January 20, 2013, 7:48pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Sorry your child got "lost along the way"; have fun at the toy store!


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