Sudoku for Memory

by Dr. Julian Whitaker
Filed Under: Mood & Memory
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

I’m hooked on Sudoku, the popular puzzles that involve filling in missing numbers in a grid of 81 squares so that the numbers 1 through 9 appear only once in each row, column, and square.

Sounds simple, but Sudoku puzzles can border on diabolical. They are so engrossing that once you get started it’s hard to put them down. I focus so intently on my puzzles at times that I’m surprised I don’t burn a hole right through the paper.

Games of logic like Sudoku give your brain a workout. Many scientific studies have demonstrated that doing puzzles, playing games, reading books, and learning new skills help to stave off age-related mental decline.

Princeton researchers recently monitored the neural patterns of people doing Sudoku and found that these puzzles turn on the brain’s associative memory, which allows us to discern patterns from partial clues. 

Give Sudoku a try. You’ll find all levels of puzzles in daily newspapers, bookstores, and online at websudoku.com. Start with “easy.” Beware, Sudoku is addictive.

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