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A Brain Game to Tease your Frontal Skills

The frontal lobes of the brain (in gray here) have been compared to an orchestra conductor, ­influencing, directing, and moderating many other brain functions. Indeed, the frontal lobes support the so-called executive functions: decision-making, problem-solving, planning, inhibiting, as well as other high-level functions (social behavior, emotional control, working memory, etc.). Ready for an executive workout?

The functions of the frontal lobes are crucial for work and life in general. How can we preserve and enhance these functions? Research tells us that cognitive or brain reserve (i.e., the brain’s resilience to pathology) can be increased by mental exercise. Mental exercise has to be challenging (to trigger the formation of new synapses and neurons) and repeated (a single teaser will not affect your cognitive reserve but it is a good start!).

Here is an example of a challenging exercise stimulating the functions of the frontal lobes. This teaser will require you to: a) solve the mystery of the code by understanding the provided clue (problem-solving and inhibition), b) decide on which strategy you will use to get back to the original message (decision-making), and c) mentally travel the alphabet (working memory). Enjoy!

Can you decipher this message? You can leave your answer as a comment below.

Clue: Each letter in the original message (except the orange Y) has been replaced by another according to this rule: “Take each letter and replace it by the letter in the alphabet that is 3 positions after it.”


J   R   R  G           M   R   E:        Y R  X          G  R        K  D  Y   H

D          E  U   D   L   Q !


Note: Do not write down the whole alphabet unless you really need it.

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27 Responses

  1. Marki says:

    Good job: You do have a brain.

    The directions are correct.

    The directions were speaking to the person who ENCODED the original message. Because we are DECODING the message that is “in code”, we have to do the reverse of what the directions say.

  2. Mrs. Life says:

    Ah okay, had to re-read the directions multiple times before I finally got it. Man, I need to brush up on more mental exercisea if I’m getting this dim.

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