Puzzles for the Mind
Puzzle Facts

The Benefits of Puzzling

The Benefits of Puzzling

Did you know that puzzles are not only fun, but they can improve areas and functions of the brain?  We love puzzles here at Arte et Marte Puzzles and we thought we investigate, how puzzles can help our health and development and why regularly puzzle solving should be a regular part of your routine. 

Doing puzzles as part of your regular routine helps keep your brain fit and ready for action.  Multiples studies show that people who complete puzzles, exercise both their left and right sides of the brain.  The right side of the brain focuses on creativity, emotions, and intuitive thinking, whereas the left side is logical, objective and methodical.  By training them together this improves cognitive function and helps prevent cognitive decline.

These studies also suggest that visual and spatial reasoning is developed when piecing together puzzles, as we search for the right piece to fit.  This includes perception, mental rotation, speed, flexibility, working memory and reasoning.   Studies suggest that puzzling benefits are not achieved by short term use and that development improvements are done over a longer time frame.   

Reasoning helps us with solving problems and making decisions, whereas working memory, flexibility and speed increase our ability to adapt to change and easily access the right information when we need it.   

Another study conducted by the University of Michigan led by Dr. Susanne Jäggi, suggests that you can increase your IQ by up to 4 points by spending 25 minutes a day solving puzzles and riddles.

Yale University researchers found that when workers can puzzle together in the workspace it helped them improve their relationships and the ability to cooperate and teamwork. Team puzzling also helps with stress relief and refreshes our minds and our eyes as we take a break from the computer screen.   I think it would be great to see a puzzle or mystery included in monthly team meetings. 

Placing the final piece in a jigsaw or solving a puzzle provides us with an “aha” moment, leaving us with the ultimate satisfied feeling.  A study out of the Philadelphia’s Drexel University found orbitofrontal cortex, above the eye, which is responsible for processing rewards lit up in EEG.  The response strength varied from person to person as each has differing levels of importance place on rewards.

So, in conclusion we can say that solving puzzles it not only a fun pastime, but there are also many long term benefits to the mind and our overall wellness when we add puzzling to our life.  So, the next time you start a new puzzle, pat yourself on the back as you are taking steps to improve your mind and overall wellbeing.   


The Synapse Project: Engagement in mentally challenging activities enhances neural efficiency – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4927925/

Jigsaw Puzzling Taps Multiple Cognitive Abilities and Is a Potential Protective Factor for Cognitive Aging – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6174231/

Short- and long-term benefits of cognitive training – https://www.pnas.org/content/108/25/10081?utm_source=TrendMD&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Proc_Natl_Acad_Sci_U_S_A_TrendMD_0

Building jigsaw puzzles helps build collaboration at 344 Winchester


An Insight-Related Neural Reward Signal