Brain Games

Intuition has been referred to as many different things. It has been known as our “gut feeling”, our instincts, our six sense. It occurs so quickly it is often also referred to as a reflex.  Fast, subconscious processing provides us with information that simply “pops into our heads” and gives us the answers we need to navigate through our lives.  Intuition can be affected by our previous experiences.  For example, people working in specific professions often develop an insight or “gut feeling” which helps them perform more proficiently than those without experience.

National Geographic has developed as series called Brain Games that is dedicated towards examining various cognitive processes through a series of interactive games. In their episode called “Intuition”, a series of tasks are utilized to present the various types of intuition. The episode begins with flashing a number of objects, fish in this case, on the screen. The fish are not on the screen long enough to count, however, the viewer instinctively knows how many fish were presented on the screen.  This is an example of intuition. The viewer is able to intuitively guess the number with surprising accuracy, even though they were unable to count the individual objects. The episode then goes on to present another game demonstrating the powers of intuition. In the next game, three words are placed on the screen. The viewer must think of a word that can match all three of the presented words. They are only given three seconds to do so however, therefore they do not have the time to sit and think about the task.  Volunteers on the show were able to rely on their intuition to quickly process the three words on the screen and come up with a word that matched them all.  The volunteers stated over and over that the words would simply “pop” into their minds.  This example of intuition demonstrates the quick, subconscious processing required to complete this task within a three second time restraint. The episode further goes on to examine expert intuition and how it is developed through years of experience.

I believe this is a very informative and reliable series that effectively demonstrates various cognitive processes. There are some experts mentioned throughout the episodes, however, research studies and previous experiments to support the findings of the show would improve it greatly.

There seems to be relatively little research on the role of intuition in various situations. Further research on the development of expert intuition would be beneficial because those findings could be applied to training programs for new members in certain professions in order to facilitate the development of expert intuition.

1 thought on “Brain Games

  1. Meghan Turney

    I watched almost the entire video clip and I thought you picked a very cool topic to talk about. It is kinda freaky that our brain just knows how many fish there were on the screen even though we don’t have any time to count. I think this whole Brain Games series is awesome and I hope they continue it on National Geographic! It’s something we can stretch our minds out while watching tv instead of reality tv shows that can be too superficial.

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