Lefty brain teasers

Because their brains are organised differently, left-handers see and think differently and can get some very different results from various “brain tests”, usually doing very well on tests that involve creative thinking or unraveling complex images and manipulating 3D images. Here’s a famous test of creativity – have a look at the image below:

left brain test

A non-creative right handed brain sees only a hodgepodge of disconnected shapes, but the left-handed brain can go beyond logic and find the connecting concept that makes sense of the shapes. If you can’t “see” beyond the shapes, it’s because your right-handed brain is trying to solve the problem and won’t let your left-handed brain have a go. If you still can’t see the picture, the answer is at the bottom of this page **

Thurston’s hand test

The left-handed brain’s mastery of the visual has an important benefit – it can “see” three dimensionally. In Thurston’s hand test, you are asked to identify which pictures are of left hands and which are of right hands. Your right-handed brain is at a loss to handle this problem, but your left-handed brain can actually rotate these drawings in imaginary space to solve the test – have a go!

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Kanizsas triangle

Here’s another example showing how your left-handed brain can even create things that don’t exist. If you can see the white triangle – the one with its apex pointing up – it’s because your left-handed brain has created that triangle to unify what is otherwise simply a collection of angles and PacMan shapes. There is, in fact, no white triangle there.

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** The picture in the first brainteaser is of a dog drinking from a stream, with its head in the middle of the picture facing down to the water and its tail off to the right.

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