February 28, 2009


Can any neuroscientists reading (you know you are) please explain the following phenomena I have noted from my own brain, this week?

1) Why is it that if I try to do a crossword and listen to a podcast at the same time, I do neither very well, whereas when I do a sudoku and listen to a podcast at the same time I finish both pretty successfully but accidentally ride the T all the way to the end of the line?

2) Why is that when presented with the crossword clue "Old cars (2 wds)" I instinctively know that the correct answer is "Tin Lizzies", even though I have no idea what that means, what its etymology is, or where I ever heard it?

Thank you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

1. Word puzzles and word interpretation are handled by the same area of the brain. So, doing a word puzzle while listening to someone talk is difficult. Number puzzles = different area of the brain from where words are handled. So, sudoku and podcast = not that hard.

2. Old Cars makes you think of the band The Cars, which makes you think of 80's music, which makes you think of "old" (i.e., later) music by Thin Lizzy, famed Irish rock group, which makes you think of Ireland. Ireland reminds you of Irish Town and Dublin Castle, two towns in Jamaica (where Ireland has had significant influence), which makes you think of how Jamaicans would pronounce "Thin Lizzy". They would say "Tin Lizzy" which is just a pluralization away from "tin lizzies".

You're welcome.

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