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A VISUAL riddle could tell you if you’re left or right-brained – and it’s left TikTokers scratching their heads for a simple but evasive answer.
The solution to this tricky prompt might come easier for people who are left-brain dominant.
The video shows 10 pencils lined up on a desk in four groups.
The leftmost group has four pencils, then a group of three, a pair of two, and finally one lone pencil.
Each descending group is separated by the width of one pencil.
The TikTok challenges the viewer to move just one pencil and reverse the order of pencils so that the rightmost group has four pencils and the leftmost has one.
Can you solve it before the 20-second timer expires?
To solve the puzzle, move the second pencil from the left to the empty space between the pair of two and last pencil.
Now the number of pencils in each group is ascending from one to four.
Finding the solution to the riddle is partially dependent on your fluency in a thinking style called spatial reasoning.
Spatial reasoning is to use your mind’s eye to think in three-dimensional space – it’s a skill that can be learned and improved upon.
Children are often first taught about spatial reasoning using the shape sorting toy with pegs and corresponding holes.
People use spatial reasoning skills in daily life when reading maps, doing basic furniture or gadget assembly, and in exercise or sports.
Last year, researchers at the Institute of Education Sciences were awarded $1.6million dollars to investigate methods for educating American children in spatial reasoning skills.
“Spatial reasoning is critical to student achievement, particularly in early math skills,” they wrote.
“At later grades, it is a gateway skill to persistence in engineering, chemistry, geoscience, and other STEM fields.”
The Pew Research Center found that American students have “unimpressive” math and science rankings globally.
Elon Musk has expressed concern that educators in the United States are failing to inspire students to pursue engineering.