If you can solve this puzzle, you might have brain damage

Look at the mathematical puzzle below... in it you should be able to move one single matchstick to create a mathematically correct statement with Roman Numerals:

Single slanted sticks are not allowed: there must be 2 slanted stick in a V to represent 5, and a single non-slanted stick to represent a 1. You have 3 minutes... GO! The original blog article has the answer.

Next, try this one:

A bit tougher, huh? In studies, only 43% of people could solve the second puzzle in under 3 minutes. However, 80% of people with lateral prefrontal damage to their brain could solve it! Mental patents get all the fun...

In theory, that part of the brain is important for determining how to solve a problem, which is called cognitive guidance. It's essential for doing ordinary math quickly, but it hinders problem solving when you don't have a rigid framework to help you. In other words, a healthy brain makes it difficult to "think outside the box".

Heh...

Thus, some brain damage patients are better at letting their minds wander and solve problems in any way that seems to work for them... which on occasion helps them see things that other people do not. In other cases, it makes it extremely difficult for them to solve problems within a framework with apparently arbitrary rules. I bet Kafka would have nailed the second puzzle...

So, chime in, folks! Who else here solved the second puzzle quickly, and might need color-coordinating tips for their tin-foil hat?

comments

Too easy

These were way too easy. They never said you couldn't take a match and (spoiler deleted -- bex)...

- Sebastian

shame on you!

no spoilers, Sibbie!

The question is, why was that answer obvious to you and I, but not to 57% of other educated people? Is it because that math framework exists for techies , or because of "thinking outside the box"?

Got it immediately . . .

Got it immediately . . . provided you can do what I think you can do.

CV Rick

I disagree

I disagree it takes mental illness to do this.
Its an ability. Not a disease.

I did it in 1 and some minute.

Re: I disagree

The article says:

In studies, only 43% of people could solve the second puzzle in under 3 minutes. However, 80% of people with lateral prefrontal damage to their brain could solve it!

Nobody ever said mental illness is a requirement... its just interesting that patients with brain damage can do it faster. You don't need autism to be good at math, but it happens to help...

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