Jigsaw puzzles can be seen as the ultimate brain exercise tool, as it tests your logical reasoning, memory, and even image recognition skills. Some also believe that jigsaw puzzles can help make a person smarter. How true is that? Do jigsaw puzzles make you smarter?
In general, research has shown that jigsaw puzzles can make you smarter. When you try to solve it, you engage your whole brain and use many mental skills such as logical reasoning, memory, and image recognition. As a result, you may develop better holding and processing capacity in your brain, making you more intelligent.
This article explores how jigsaw puzzles make you smarter and other benefits that may come from solving jigsaw puzzles. We also discuss if Jigsaw puzzles can increase your Intelligence Quotient (IQ).
By the way, we have tons of fantastic jigsaw puzzles in stock right now.
How Do Jigsaw Puzzles Make You Smarter?
Now that you know solving jigsaw puzzles does make you smarter, perhaps you may now be wondering how. So how do jigsaw puzzles make you smarter?
Solving jigsaw puzzles makes you smarter by improving your short-term memory and visual-spatial reasoning skills and exercising both sides of your brain. You also develop problem-solving skills and a higher IQ. All these cognitive (thinking) skills are strong indicators of an intelligent person.
Researchers have indicated that playing jigsaw puzzles can make you smarter by increasing your cognitive load and speed. This means your brain can process more things faster.
Jigsaw puzzles help you achieve that result by working on these specific cognitive(thinking) skills or areas in your brain:
As you work on jigsaw puzzles, you often need to remember certain things, such as the shape and curvatures of the puzzle plates, and then constantly review for similar pieces in your pile. Once you find the piece that matches, you remember the shape and curvatures of another puzzle piece.
This means you need to constantly remember new information, delete it, and reload it with new information constantly. You frequently recall the shapes as you scan and match, forcing your brain to remember them.
This is how jigsaw puzzles help strengthen your short-term memory. Do this long enough, and you will reinforce the connection between our brain cells and form new ones. This may help you to remember more things easily over a short time, such as grocery lists. This also makes jigsaw puzzles super helpful for Alzheimer's patients to stop or slow their memory decline.
Visual-Spatial Reasoning Skills
As you solve a jigsaw puzzle, you need to constantly look at the individual pieces of a puzzle and try to fit the right pieces in. You may need to eyeball the pieces' color, pattern, and curvatures to fit them together.
This means you are constantly using your eyes and processing images with your brain. If done over the long term, jigsaw puzzles may help to improve your visual-spatial ability.
You may be able to observe things in finer detail. You may also perform well in activities that require hand-eye coordination, such as driving, stick, or racket sports, such as golf or tennis.
Logic and Creativity
Jigsaw puzzles also engage both sides of your brain. The left brain is often logical, while the right brain is often more creative, emotional, and intuitive thinking.
When solving a jigsaw puzzle, you need to use a log of logical reasoning to ensure the pieces fit together. Pieces that fit together should have straight cuts, curvature, and similar colors.
At the same time, you may also engage in your emotions, telling yourself to be patient and do the puzzles one at a time. You may also try to be more creative, such as by trying to build multiple sets of puzzle sections based on color. You may also use intuition, such as picking up a piece, believing it should fit the sections, and trying them out.
Problem Solving Skills
Applying these mental processes allows you to develop critical, flexible, and manageable ways to solve problems. Suppose we apply this to solving jigsaw puzzles. In that case, you may develop strategies to break down the tasks into smaller, workable problems instead of trying to fit the pieces individually.
For example, you may start by separating the pieces by their main color since pieces that fit tend to be the same color. You then work on the pieces by sections before eventually trying to fit the sections together into the whole puzzle.
You may also try to build up the puzzle's frame since frame pieces have flat edges. You then work inwards or by sections until you finally solve the puzzle.
You may eventually learn to break down issues and problems in real life, just as you do the same on your jigsaw puzzle. By mastering this skill, you may be able to solve issues at work and personal life easily. You also may be seen as someone adaptable and innovative.
What Are The Other Benefits Of Jigsaw Puzzles?
Solving jigsaw puzzles is not just a mental exercise but also comes with extra benefits. What are the other benefits of jigsaw puzzles?
Aside from making you smarter, jigsaw puzzles also help you to improve your collaborative and teamwork skills, as well as your overall productivity. You will also release stress, which helps to improve your overall mood.
Jigsaw puzzles are not just a brain exercise per se, but they may be a good way to improve yourself in many ways. It is seen that jigsaw puzzles may improve a person's overall mental well-being, as well as their interpersonal skills and productivity.
Jigsaw puzzles often take a long time to solve, and you must exert your mental energy intensively as you work on them. You need to remember the color, shape, and curvature of the pieces you are looking for, as well as to focus and not be distracted by other things.
As you improve your ability to focus and mentally engage on a single task, you may be able to transfer this to many things in life, especially work. You may be able to ignore distractions and focus better when working. As a result, you probably will be able to produce better work at a faster time as well.
Improves Collaborative Skills
Solving jigsaw puzzles helps you to become a better team player. As you work on solving jigsaw puzzles together as a team, you may have to constantly communicate and explain things and what you have in mind. You also need to focus on what they are saving, paying attention to the details of the pieces they are looking for.
This makes you a better explainer and also a better listener at the same time. You will become a better communicator and also a better collaborator. Improving on these skills will make you a better team player and help in your career as well.
Lowers Stress Level
Some may think jigsaw puzzles may just increase their stress level. In general, jigsaw puzzles are surprisingly found to help lower stress levels.
Jigsaw puzzles help us to achieve this by slowly changing the waves in our brains. Our brain is in the Beta state when we are awake and active. However, when we work on puzzles, our brains may move into the Alpha state, a rather subconscious level of brain activity, similar to when we are dreaming.
Alpha's mental state comes with many benefits and abilities, such as increasing feelings of contentment and self-confidence. You also stand to gain from lower blood pressure and heart rate and an ability to make deeper connections.
Solving jigsaw puzzles is also found to help lift our spirits and make us in a better mood. As we work on the puzzles, we achieve small successes, able to fit pieces together. Every match makes us feel great since it may trigger our brain to release dopamine. Our brains do this to keep us engaged and continue to challenge ourselves to be better.
Do Jigsaw Puzzles Increase IQ?
Solving jigsaw puzzles can definitely help to increase intelligence and make us smarter. But what about IQ? Do jigsaw puzzles increase IQ?
Solving jigsaw puzzles is found to be able to increase IQ scores up to four points. A University of Michigan study discovered that engaging in jigsaw puzzles for 25 minutes a day can improve your fluid intelligence, which over the long run, improves your IQ as well.
Solving jigsaw puzzles require a strong focus and use of memories and visual-spatial recognition. These cognitive exercises may strengthen our brain to process more in a shorter time, making us more intelligent and smart.
Therefore, it may not be surprising to know that solving jigsaw puzzles can help to increase intelligence quotient (IQ). IQ is often used to measure intelligence and the ability to think and solve problems.
A University of Michigan study by Dr. Susanne Jäggi discovered that by engaging in jigsaw puzzles or riddles for 25 minutes daily, you may improve your IQ by up to four points.