From the initial dilemma to the satisfying “eureka moment,” puzzle-solving is a complex process in the human brain. In addition to being fun, puzzle-solving is also beneficial, increasing your brain’s efficiency and memory capacity. Here is a breakdown of what happens in your brain when solving puzzles, why finally finding the solution is so satisfying, and the benefits it provides to our minds and bodies.
Human brains are made of two separate hemispheres, known as the right brain and left brain. They work together beautifully, but each half performs its own specific functions: the right side handles emotions and solves problems creatively, while the left side performs more logical, analytical functions. Whether we’re solving a simple crossword or a very complicated puzzle in an escape room, each side of the brain tackles the situation from a unique angle, combining their work to reach that final result.
Solving a complex problem is deeply pleasurable for the brain. The moment we put the last piece in a jigsaw puzzle, fill in the last word of a crossword, or find the key in a challenging escape room scenario, our brains are flooded with dopamine, a chemical that tells the brain that an activity is pleasurable and worth pursuing. The intense joy we feel during an “Aha!” moment keeps us returning to puzzles for more, which is good news for our brain health.
The intense activity experienced by both the left and right brain when we work on a puzzle is extremely beneficial to our brain health. Regular puzzle-solving increases our alertness, concentration, enhances our memory capacity, and expands our ability to think creatively. Some studies, like the notable MacArthur Study, have even shown that puzzle fans may have longer lifespans and less risk of problems that plague us in old age, like memory loss, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Solving puzzles can also positively impact our physical well-being. As our brains work to find a solution, our breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure all tend to decrease. We also notice an overall sense of calm, concentration, and peace, making puzzle-solving similar to meditation in some cases.
At New Mexico Escape Room, we love entertaining and challenging guests with a diverse selection of escape room scenarios to puzzle the mind and share some immersive fun. Our rooms are perfect for parties, fun nights out with friends, and team building. To learn more about our pricing, escape rooms, and booking, give us a call at 505-289-1002 today.