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10. Quick brainteaser to test your mental rotation skills

rotatednumbersVisu­ospa­tial skills are used every­day in many ways, rang­ing from going from one room to anoth­er in your house to nav­i­gat­ing in a new city.

Let’s take an exam­ple. Can you pic­ture in your mind an arrow point­ing to the right? Now, turn this arrow so it points to the left. Done?

Temporal lobe Frontal LobeYou have just per­formed a men­tal rota­tion, a key abil­i­ty to read maps, play chess, arrange fur­ni­ture, etc. Men­tal rota­tion relies most­ly on the pari­etal areas towards the back of your brain (orange sec­tion in the brain image to the right).

Here is a brain teas­er to stim­u­late your men­tal rota­tion cog­ni­tive skills.

For each num­ber in the matrix below, decide whether it is a nor­mal or reversed num­ber, as in this exam­ple:

example visuospatial skills

Ready. Set. Go! (and please don’t rotate your device, or your head…)

exercise visuospatial skills


Row 1: nor­mal, reversed, reversed
Row 2: nor­mal, nor­mal, reversed
Row 3: nor­mal, reversed, reversed


Next brain teas­er in Sharp­Brains’ top 25 series:

Pascale Michelon— Pas­cale Mich­e­lon, PhD is a sci­en­tist, edu­ca­tor, and con­tribut­ing author to “The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness: How to Opti­mize Brain Health and Per­for­mance at Any Age” (April 2013; 284 pages).

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