Another possible test for lateral thinking ability

I’m far less certain about this one, but it would be easier and may deserve it’s own test run.

Anyway, we’ve probably all seen paragraphs like this one:

Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

I’m unable to think of a way the brain would do this in a more logical way, except for the type of algorithm used for “word completion” programs. This does not appear to be the way we do this, it seems, by introspection, and because we seamlessly incorporate context into our reading. (Reading each scrambled word in context may be much easier than unscrambling it without context.) It seems the brain may be using stochastically derived shortcuts.

This phenomenon, typoglycemia, seems to be restricted to skilled readers, but does not seem to be restricted to languages in which they are necessarily fluent, though fluency certainly helps (in the same way that familiarity with any subject aids creativity within that subject).

Anecdotally, I’ve tended to score in the 98th percentile on “reading comprehension” subtests of academic aptitude/achievement tests, despite low reading speed (something like 45th percentile) and general academic underperformance. I had never given the matter much thought, having always considered it a side effect of reading a lot. Maybe the lateral thinking that is used particularly by naturally talented readers can be tested in an easy way by giving them an ordinary reading comprehension subtest, where the letters are scrambled both in the reading portion and in the Q&A portion, and measuring their performance relative to that on the unscrambled test.

The tendency to lateral thinking seems to be related to both neuron density and white matter connections, because both can lead to the restless recombination behavior that characterizes creativity. Neuron (gray matter) density can be compared to the dense packing of upright dominoes- put enough of them close together and spontaneous cascades are bound to happen (and dendrites are less picky about direction than are dominoes). White matter intuition is similar, except that the dominoes are spaced farther apart and connected by strings, instead of knocking over anything in the vicinity.

About Aeoli Pera

Maybe do this later?
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s