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#13. Brain teaser to exercise your cognitive skills: Where do words go?

Temporal lobe Frontal LobeWords are stored in the tem­po­ral lobe of your brain (in green on the cerebral cortex image  to the left). But on which brain hemisphere, right or left? As you know, your brain has two sides (two hemi­spheres) con­nected by the cor­pus cal­lo­sum. You have one tem­po­ral lobe on each side of the brain.

If you are right-handed, your lan­guage is stored mostly in your left tem­po­ral lobe. If you are left-handed, you are not so lat­er­al­ized and your lan­guage is stored a bit on both sides of your brain, in the tem­po­ral lobes. Also, words that are often heard together (such as salt and pep­per) or words that share some mean­ing (such as nurse and doc­tor) are con­nected or asso­ci­ated in the brain. Once you hear one, the other is often activated.

Here is a brain teaser whose aim is to stim­u­late the con­nec­tions or asso­ci­a­tions between words in your tem­po­ral lobe. You will see pairs of words, and your goal is to find a third word that is con­nected or asso­ci­ated with both of these two words.

For example, the first pair is PIANO and LOCK. The answer is KEY. The word key is con­nected with both the word piano and the word lock: there are KEYS on a piano and you use a KEY to lock doors. Key is what is called a homo­graph: a word that has more than one mean­ing but is always spelled the same.

Ready to stim­u­late con­nec­tions in your tem­po­ral lobe(s)? Enjoy! (Solu­tions are below. Please don’t check them until you have tried to solve all the pairs!)

1. LOCK — PIANO

2. SHIP — CARD

3. TREE — CAR

4. SCHOOL — EYE

5. PILLOW — COURT

6. RIVER — MONEY

7. BED — PAPER

8. ARMY — WATER

9. TENNIS — NOISE

10. EGYPTIAN — MOTHER

11. SMOKER — PLUMBER

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).

SOLUTIONS

1. LOCK – PIANO > KEY

2. SHIP — CARD > Deck

3. TREE — CAR > Trunk

4. SCHOOL – EYE > Pupil (Exam and Pri­vate are also possible)

5. PILLOW – COURT > Case

6. RIVER — MONEY > Bank (Flow is also possible)

7. BED — PAPER > Sheet

8. ARMY — WATER > Tank

9. TENNIS — NOISE > Racket

10. EGYPTIAN — MOTHER > Mummy

11. SMOKER — PLUMBER > Pipe

 

Next brain teaser in SharpBrains’ top 25 series:

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2 Responses

  1. Elizabeth Shanta says:

    Able to deal quickly with the majority of pairs, struggled with with “tennis-noise”.

  2. David Perkins says:

    It’s racquet not racket. What the hell is racket?

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