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#1. The Stroop Test: Great brain teaser to challenge your mental vitality and flexibility

stroop-testReady to test your men­tal vital­i­ty and flex­i­bil­i­ty?

Quick — say aloud what col­or you see in every word, NOT the word you read.

Go from left to right, from top to down. Ready. Set. Go!


Not easy, right? This task is called the Stroop Test, and is used in neu­ropsy­cho­log­i­cal eval­u­a­tions to mea­sure men­tal vital­i­ty and flex­i­bil­i­ty, since per­form­ing well requires strong atten­tion, inhi­bi­tion and self-reg­u­la­tion capa­bil­i­ty (also called exec­u­tive func­tions).

Next brain teas­er in Sharp­Brains’ top 25 series:

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70 Responses

  1. saif says:

    Fun! blur­ring vision, for me tak­ing off my glass­es does the trick how­ev­er, in my opin­ion its kin­da cheat­ing, as it defies the pur­pose

  2. kdt says:

    I found squint­ing meant i could only see the col­ors, then it was easy as pie. Cheat­ing? Maybe, but still using the ol’ nog­gin 😀

  3. Steve says:

    If you sim­ply remem­ber not to read and pre­tend you are look­ing at a pic­ture of col­ors, just state the next col­or that pops in your mind. Your mind will auto­mat­i­cal­ly say the right word if you only con­cen­trate on the col­or. The prob­lem most peo­ple have is that they try to read the word first (silent­ly) and then decide if it cor­re­sponds to the right col­or before they say it out loud. At that point they have to change what they were going to say if it’s not the right word. That is why you can’t read it.

  4. I nev­er thought read­ing what you see is as dif­fi­cult as say­ing what you see… Great stuff! I think I’ll go for more! 😀

  5. Jerry says:

    Got them all cor­rect and I got faster as I went along.…

  6. Nick Maceus says:

    Are there any stud­ies com­par­ing the per­for­mance of adult ver­sus chil­dren?

    Sim­ply zon­ing in on col­ors and tun­ing out words & shapes, pro­duces high accu­ra­cy and speed.

  7. Alvaro says:

    Great to see so many peo­ple exer­cis­ing their brains 🙂

    Nick, yes, there are. The full Stroop Test, admin­is­tered by a pro­fes­sion­al, is in fact a nor­mal­ized neu­ropsy­cho­log­i­cal test, so there are pub­lished per­for­mance aver­ages and ranges by age. In gen­er­al, most peo­ple’s exec­u­tive func­tions (includ­ing inhi­bi­tion) peak in our late 20s, grow­ing slow­ly before­hand, declin­ing slow­ly after­ward, and with sig­nif­i­cant vari­abil­i­ty inside age groups.

  8. Aaron says:

    That is not as easy as it looks.

  9. ginny says:

    no trou­ble atall

  10. Darlene says:

    omg that is so con­fus­ing but wierd­ly cool

  11. brittany says:

    this is hor­ri­ble b/c u try to focus on the wor and it make your eyes hurt im still see­ing blury

  12. Bob says:

    I found it eas­i­er if I went from right to left.

  13. andrea hunter says:

    this was awe­some.…. i had the colours and names cor­rect in the first lines but as i went along i had to retract abit. then once i made the con­nec­tion that the colours dont gen­er­al­ly go with the names then it was smooth sail­ing…

  14. Chemogirl says:

    This was cute. I was fast until the col­ors did­n’t match the words but I did not stop and went through smoot­ly. My son ten years old stopped after the sec­ond mis­matched word/color. He start­ed laugh­ing and would­n’t fin­ish it. 🙂

  15. Maybury says:

    why does say­ing it loud­er help?

  16. kamil says:

    motor sen­so­ry clus­ters form­ing asso­ci­a­tions with phys­i­cal mouth, tongue and jaw move­ment of the act of enun­ci­a­tion; con­sol­i­dat­ing sem­blance of famil­iar­i­ty with the spo­ken words; thus more synaps­es take place and bet­ter mem­o­ry

  17. yoan911 says:

    fun game

  18. yoan911 says:

    kin­da con­fus­ing after stare at it for a while

  19. Joi says:

    It was easy toward the begin­ning, but a cou­ple of rows into it, it got trick­i­er.

    Thanks for the men­tal stim­u­la­tion!

  20. Gary says:

    This is VERY cool. It is not unlike one of the games found in Lumos­i­ty by the way.. It’s a tough one.

  21. Jennifer says:

    I just looked at the last let­ter of each word, try­ing not to get dis­tract­ed by the word itself.

  22. jean says:

    I learned many years ago the best way to go into these kinds of tests is to read the instruc­tions with total focus twice before start­ing. It makes a huge dif­fer­ence in what your brain accepts. A c
    atholic school must for every­thing being done (work or play) whether you thought you knew the inc­truc­tions or not.

  23. jean says:

    I learned many years ago the best way to go into these kinds of tests is to read the instruc­tions with total focus twice before start­ing. It makes a huge dif­fer­ence in what your brain accepts.

  24. Rebekah says:

    The objec­tive behind the brain teas­er is to exer­cise your atten­tion span.Finding an eas­i­er way to go through it for exam­ple blur­ring your vision sim­ply defeats the pur­pose. I find myself get­ting bet­ter at it with sim­ply more prac­tice. Tim­ing myself proves my progress.

  25. rq says:

    I took a test like this as part of cog­ni­tive test­ing when my doc­tor thought my med­ica­tion was hav­ing an ill effect on my mem­o­ry, etc. I had no prob­lem doing the test this way but when they had me say the colours and not the words (or X’s), I had a hard time with it.

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