Dec 2, 2007


There are a lot of utterly remarkable cognitive things to observe as I watch my daughter grow up. The one that caught my attention recently was the ability for my daughter to complete jigsaw puzzles while the pieces were face side down.

Normally one optimizes jigsaw puzzle completion by locating the edge pieces, completing the perimeter and using visual clues to build inward. This is generally the optimum strategy for completing a puzzle when you only do it once.

However like most kids, my daughter likes to do things over and over again. In this scenario there is enough time, and presumably brain power, to memorize where every single piece goes and also to recognize the location of a piece not only by what part of the picture is on it but also by the shape of the piece.

So when I sit and watch my daughter doing a puzzle (Finding Nemo has been on the menu for at least 2 months now), she simply looks at the pile of pieces and grabs the piece she is looking for regardless of if it is face up or face down. I'm sure she's not alone in this ability.


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