Brain Puzzle for the Whole Brain: The Blind Beggar

Exercise multiple areas of your brain by trying to answer this riddle:

A blind beggar had a brother who died. What relation was the blind beggar to the brother who died?

Now, your brain’s turn: what is the answer? tick tick tick tick…

Hint: Brother is not the answer

tick tick tick tick

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Explanation (answer at bottom): This puzzle is very simply stated and yet stumps those who have not heard it before, because the listener tends to make an implicit assumption about gender – in this case that a blind beggar is a man.

Brain Use:
This puzzle touches on analytical functions like abstract reasoning, hypothesis testing, and implicit assumptions residing in your frontal lobes, as well as your creativity in finding novel solutions to problems and emotional memory.

The brain region most strongly implicated in emotional memory is the amygdala. The amygdala is critically involved in calculating the emotional significance of events, and, through its connection to brain regions dealing with sensory experiences, also appears to be responsible for the influence of emotion on perception – alerting us to notice emotionally significant events even when we’re not paying attention. The amygdala appears to be particularly keyed to negative experiences. But it is not only the amygdala that is involved in this complex interaction. The cerebellum, most strongly associated with motor coordination skills, may also be involved in remembering strong emotions, in particular, in the consolidation of long-term memories of fear. Parts of the prefrontal cortex also appear to be involved. One study found that a region of the prefrontal cortex was jointly influenced by a combination of mood state and cognitive task, but not by either one alone. Another study found that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is more active when the participants were surprised by unexpected responses.

Links:
Executive function
Executive Function Disorder
Basic Neuroanatomy

Answer:
The blind beggar was the sister of her brother, who died.

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6 Comments »

  1. Ed said

    Dear Alvaro, this blog is amazing brother! I am a current undergrad student in biopsych and have a blog of my own. I was wondering if you have an email address where I can contact you or if you can just email me and I will reply with the questions. Nice Blog, keep up the geat work!

    Ed

    Happy Mind – Happy Mood
    http://www.happy-mind.blogspot.com

  2. Alvaro said

    Thanks for the kind words, Ed. In fact this post was written by Caroline-will make a public introduction now. Will shoot you an email.

  3. […] Solution: please welcome Caroline, our contributing editor of the blog, who started writing last week such good posts as: – Brain Puzzle for the Whole Brain: The Blind Beggar – Nutritional Supplements and Brain Fitness – Visual Perception Brain Teaser – Brain Coach Answers: How Can I Be More Creative? Is Creativity a Part of Brain  Fitness? – Social Intelligence and Mirror Neurons – Social Intelligence and the Frontal Lobes – More Weight, Less Memory – Connections Between Physical and Brain Fitness – Brain Yoga: Stress — Killing You Softly – Brain Coach Answers: Aren’t crosswords and sudoku sufficient brain exercise? […]

  4. Joanne said

    This is the first time visiting this site and it is truly blowing my mind. I love it.

  5. […] Solution: please welcome Caroline, our contributing editor of the blog, who started writing last week such good posts as: – Today’s great Brain Puzzle for the Whole Brain: The Blind Beggar – Nutritional Supplements and Brain Fitness – Visual Perception Brain Teaser – Brain Coach Answers: How Can I Be More Creative? Is Creativity a Part of Brain  Fitness? – Social Intelligence and Mirror Neurons – Social Intelligence and the Frontal Lobes – More Weight, Less Memory – Connections Between Physical and Brain Fitness – Brain Yoga: Stress — Killing You Softly – Brain Coach Answers: Aren’t crosswords and sudoku sufficient brain exercise? […]

  6. Caroline said

    Joanne,
    We’re so glad you like our blog! Our goal is that you both have fun and learn something along the way, so feel free to send us feedback anytime! Also, please note that we have now moved to http://www.sharpbrains.com/blog. Come visit us in our new location!
    -Caroline

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