Brain Game: An Unexpected Challenge

By: Dr. Pascale Michelon

Can you find differences between these two images (see below)? You have seen and maybe tried that game in the Sunday paper many times. You may like it or not or think it is too easy for you, but in fact it is a very good brain exercise.

Every time we do something several brain skills or cognitive abilities are involved. Each cognitive ability is supported by a network of brain cells (or neurons) working together in specific locations of the brain.
Let’s see what cognitive abilities and which brain areas are involved in the simple “Find the differences” exercise:
1- You have to identify the objects that you see: This involves your visual skills and thus your occipital lobes (back of the brain, at the bottom).
2- You have to analyzed the spatial relationships between the objects that you see: This involves your visuospatial skills and thus your occipital lobes and parietal lobes (back of the brain, top part).
3- You have to remember what you see in one picture and compare it to what you see in the other picture: This involves your short-term memory and thus your frontal (front part of the brain) and parietal lobes.
4- You have to mark down the locations where you see a difference: This involves your motor skills, and thus mostly your frontal lobes.

Did you realize that so much was going on in your brain during that seemingly simple exercise? This is what makes it a good brain exercise: It stimulates several brain functions and thus several networks of neurons.

Ready to give it a try?
Can you find 5 differences between the two pictures below?

(scroll down to see the answers)








  1. One of the blades of the fan.
  2. One of the cups hanging on the right of the stove.
  3. The paper towel holder on the left of the stove.
  4. The round knob of one of the drawers on the right of the picture.
  5. The notes on the fridge.

To learn more about how challenging your brain can help optimize your brain health in general:



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