“Research evidence shows that mental stimulation through brain games and interactive puzzles encourage brain cells to develop more connections with each other, improving our general thinking.” This quote is from the book BrainMatics Logic Puzzles by Ivan Moscovich.
The book is full of excellent brain games and shares some valuable insight into how we can improve our problem solving ability. I found this very interesting and to have great synergy with the craft of software testing. Here is an excerpt from the book on thinking as a skill.
Thinking as a Skill
“Your brain works better than you might think. It is capable of making a virtually unlimited number of synaptic connections, each of which is a pattern of thought. The number of possible connections has been calculated, and the result is astonishingly huge – 1 followed by 60 million miles of zeros.
BrainMatics includes carefully designed visual problems, that will sharpen your ability to recognize and perceive patterns, to stretch your imagination, to make the most of your thinking. And as you do these puzzles and problems, you will improve your creativity, insight and intuition. Thinking is a learnable skill. If you make even a small effort to develop it, you will see improvement.”
The book includes further thoughts on the thinking skills of creativity, problem solving and intuition.
Creativity, Problem Solving and Intuition
“People once assumed that the Sun revolved around the Earth, and that evil spirits caused diseases. Creative thinkers challenged these ideas. If we accept what we are told without every questioning its truth, we may never discover better ways of doing and thinking.
Throughout human history, people have regarded creativity with wonder. Creative thinkers seems to be able to maintain a connection to a childlike state of wonder, and to use it for creative ends. How do they do it? How can we learn to be more creative?
Creativity is the most powerful mode of human thought, a resource we can all draw upon in order to understand our life and to build a better world and future. From earliest history human beings needed creativity to solve practical problems. If our ancestors had not been creative, we would still be living in the stone age. And for this reason we all have a creative urge hard-wired within us.
Yet creativity is difficult to define. More than just the process by which new ideas are generated, it is really a different way of thinking, one less preoccupied with details than with fundamental relationships, less concerned with facts and numbers than with arrangements and connections. The ability to “think outside the box” is highly sought after today. A new age is upon us, in which creativity is increasingly important and more highly valued than ever.
Many researchers into creativity have noted the element of chance in the creative process. American scientist Linus Pauling (1901-94) was asked at one of his lectures how to create scientific theories: he replied that one must endeavor to come up with many ideas – then discard the useless ones.
Recent research suggests that the unconscious mind plays a key role in creativity. The research indicates that complex decisions are best left to your unconscious mind and that the conscious mind should be trusted with simple decisions only. Thinking hard about complex decisions based on multiple factors appears to confuse the conscious mind: people concentrate on only a subset of the available information , often resulting in unsatisfactory decisions. In contrast, the unconscious mind appears better able to consider the information as a whole, and produce a more satisfactory decision.
We use intuition constantly in our everyday life. Yet until recently the scientific study of intuition was largely ignored. New research has found that intuition springs from a set of important human skills that all act together to give a so-called “gut reaction”. The more you use these skills, the better your intuition becomes.”
You may have read my recent blog post “Sharpen Your Testing Skills with Games & Puzzles” in which I commit to providing some interesting games and puzzles on my blog. I look forward to sharing several from the BrainMatics Logic Puzzles book. I hope you will attempt some of the puzzles and games I post on my blog to develop your thinking skills.