5 Brain-strengthening puzzles to really make you scratch your head

Fine tuning your brain strength using challenging puzzles will improve the memory and may even ward off dementia. These five tests have been specifically designed by a specialist to get your mind into shape.

About the brain-training tests

Below are five puzzles that use the frontal lobe—the part of your brain associated with problem-solving, personality, judgement and emotion—they were developed by psychologist and brain health specialist Tonia Vojtkofsky and taken from her 2016 bookKeep Your Brain Stronger for Longer. You can read interview with her here.

Regular brain exercise has many mental health benefits. It can improve your memory and lower the risk of developing dementia.

How to use the tests

You can either write the questions down on a piece of paper or print the tests. Don’t get frustrated if you find the puzzles challenging, they’re supposed to be—afterall this is a workout! In fact the more challenging you find it, the more good it’s doing.

To enlarge the questions: Click on the text and it will open as an image in a new window

To print the tests: Scroll over the text, a button will appear in the top right corner saying ‘PRINT THIS’ click on it and follow the prompts.

Finding the answers

At the bottom of the page there is a link that says ‘Check your answers’ click on this to see the results and what they mean—but no cheating!

 

How good is your reasoning?

This test measures your ability to work with unfamiliar information in order to solve problems. It requires you to be flexible and apply reasoning.

Still on the theme of grandchildren… This one’s a little harder than the first.

 

Test your memory

Memory is something that can be exercised and worked on to improve it. This challenge is about using information you already have locked in your noggin.

 

How’s your attention?

Research has proven that if you are able to sustain your attention over long periods of time you will perform better on all kinds of cognitive challenges.

 

Executive functioning

Incorporating reasoning, attention and cognitive flexibility, executive functioning isn’t something that we are born with but something we develop as children and improves with practice.