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Brain Games: Spot the Difference

How many dif­fer­ences can you spot?

You have seen and maybe tried that exer­cise or game in the Sun­day paper many times: find 5 dif­fer­ences between the two images.

You may like it or not. You may think it is only for kids. But it is a GREAT brain exer­cise!

Let’s see what cog­ni­tive process­es and which brain areas are involved in this exer­cise:

- You have to iden­ti­fy the objects that you see: this involves your occip­i­tal lobes brain color(in red, below)
— You have to ana­lyzed the spa­tial rela­tion­ships between the objects that you see: this involves your occip­i­tal and pari­etal (in green) lobes
— You have to remem­ber what you see in one pic­ture and com­pare it to what you see in the oth­er pic­ture, that is you have to use your short-term mem­o­ry: this involves your frontal (in blue) and pari­etal lobes
— You have to mark down the loca­tions where you see a dif­fer­ence: this involves most­ly your frontal lobes (for the move­ment)

Did you real­ize that so much was going on in your brain dur­ing that seem­ing­ly sim­ple exer­cise?

I bet not! So why not give it a try??

Can you find 5 dif­fer­ences between the two pic­tures below?

spot the difference brain teaser

spot the difference brain teaser

You can enjoy these addi­tion­al Brain Teasers.

Pascale Michelon— This arti­cle was writ­ten by Pas­cale Mich­e­lon, Ph. D., for SharpBrains.com. Dr. Mich­e­lon, Copy­right 2008. Dr. Mich­e­lon has a Ph.D. in Cog­ni­tive Psy­chol­o­gy and has worked as a Research Sci­en­tist at Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty in Saint Louis, in the Psy­chol­o­gy Depart­ment. She con­duct­ed sev­er­al research projects to under­stand how the brain makes use of visu­al infor­ma­tion and mem­o­rizes facts. She is now an Adjunct Fac­ul­ty at Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty, and teach­es Mem­o­ry Work­shops in numer­ous retire­ment com­mu­ni­ties in the St Louis area.

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16 Responses

  1. R Keene says:

    It is very easy if you can go cross-eyed and merge the two pic­tures visu­al­ly. It took me about 5 sec­onds to find all the dif­fer­ences. There is an addi­tion­al dif­fer­ence where the ver­ti­cal sign in the mid­dle has a whiter edge in the left pic­ture. Also just over the wom­an’s head that is in front of the store there is a sin­gle dark­er pix­el.

  2. J. Cardinal says:

    Thank you for the infor­ma­tion on areas of the brain involved in this exer­cise! With­out know­ing what was hap­pen­ing in the brain, I felt that this game was a good way to help some­one focus their atten­tion.

    I teach math­e­mat­ics at a tech­ni­cal high school in a mid-sized city. Last year I began giv­ing ‘Find the Differences’ puz­zles to my stu­dents as an open­ing exer­cise. They loved it!

    I was hap­py sim­ply because the stu­dents were focused on work. How­ev­er, I was unsure what the admin­is­tra­tion would have felt about this exer­cise in a high school. Now that I know so much is hap­pen­ing in the brain, I will hang a copy of this infor­ma­tion in my class­room for all to see and learn!

  3. Alvaro says:

    Very good idea to use exer­cis­es like this to open the class. As you point out, it serves as a great tran­si­tion into a more focused mind­set.

    Pas­cale will be hap­py to see this teas­er is mak­ing it into your class­room wall 🙂

  4. denise says:

    Thanks for a fun puz­zle. This is very much like the trou­ble with proof­read­ing: My mind tends to “fill in” the miss­ing parts, mak­ing them hard to notice — and yet how clear­ly they stand out once I spot them! I haven’t mas­tered R Keene’s cross-eyed trick, so it took me longer than 5 sec­onds…

  5. Michealson says:

    Yes, I love all puz­zles only because they help my brain focus and exer­cise, I love psy­chol­o­gy, any­ways, like R Keene said about the woman I noticed that her left arm(the one that is stretched out) her white cloth­ing is hang­ing dif­fer­ent­ly the bot­tom one has more of it hang­ing than the top, I thought that was one of the changes so I fin­ished but was dis­s­a­point­ed to find out I was wrong, any­ways I just want­ed to point that one out in case no one saw that.

  6. Michealson says:

    OH! and if you or any­one else has any use­full web­sites about philoso­phers and/or psy­chol­o­gist, please let me know, and I mean any, famous or not, I love learn­ing about oth­ers, it helps me get an under­stand­ing of basic human instint(I’m only 15 but for my sum­mer break I final­ly have time to research about it on oth­ers to get a bet­ter under­stand­ing myself) any­ways thank you for the sites!!!

  7. jt91495 says:

    i can­not do the crosseyed thing but i still got it but it took 2 min­utes to find all of them

  8. jt91495 says:

    And micheal­son is right i thought that is what it was too

  9. Alvaro says:

    Hel­lo Michael­son,

    Encephalon blog car­ni­val is a great entry point into excel­lent psy­chol­o­gy and neu­ro­science blogs, you can check the most recent edi­tion here

    http://neuroanthropology.net/2008/06/23/encephalon-48-the-usual-suspects/

    Enjoy!

  10. Hel­lo every­body,
    I did not touch the wom­an’s cloth­ing when I pre­pared the pic­tures… I checked by blow­ing the 2 pic­tures up and I still can’t see the dif­fer­ences that you guys are talk­ing about… any­way! I did make our brains work!!

  11. At least I now know that these are good for my kids (who love them).

  12. stacey says:

    in one pic­ture (top) the woman is look­ing straigt ahead, the oth­er she is look­ing up

  13. Tyler says:

    Thanks for the game, my brain need­ed the prac­tise 😀

  14. W P says:

    Rii­ight a “dark­er” pix­el is part of the change lol.. oh hey look I just saw 999999999 changes due to the dis­place­ment of air mol­e­cules lol..

  15. W P says:

    You guys need to stop mak­ing up bonus changes that you think you see.
    There are five and five only..

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