Insight Problem Solving
"Think outside the box." (The 9 Dot Problem)
An insight problem is the kind of head twister where the answer just suddenly comes to you after having given up trying to solve it logically. Solving such problems activates brain areas involved in insight thinking and primes them for further activation. (It also helps with empathy.)
Bloxorz, Blox ForeverIn these online puzzle games the player has to figure out what order to do things in to get a rectangular peg into a square hole or to line up same-feature pieces beside each other. The rules they follow are clear but the solutions require creative thinking.
Silver Sphere, Penguin PushWhether pushing ice blocks intoÂ yellow squares or rolling a ball into the pool of water, these games challenge the player to look at all possibilities before taking action. When all else fails, they encourage a bit of hit-or-miss experimentation, a method by which many important discoveries have been made.
GemworksA different kind of insight puzzle game, this requires that you pay attention to color and placement in order to combine small gems into big ones.
Other Online Games
- Coolmath has some good online physics-based video games, as do PhyFun and other sites (just Google 'physics games' to find more!)
- Studying Insight Problem Solving with Neuroscientific Methods (Luo & Knoblich, 2007) Summary: Discusses the process of solving insight problems from a brain processing perspective. Keys to generating solutions include activation of the anterior cingulate cortex and behind-the-scenes right hemisphere activity.
- The Prepared Mind (Kouinos et al., 2006) Summary: Having a pre-activated anterior cingulate cortex increases the likelihood of solving insight problems.
- Empathy and Judging Otherâ€™s Pain: An fMRI Study of Alexithymia (Moriguchi et al., 2007)