Mirror Reading = Deceptively Obvious
The magic of a mind seeing, and reading, what is not really there.
There are good reasons why Leonardo da Vinci and Lewis Carroll were so enthralled with Mirror Reading: It’s an elegant mental operation of deceptive simplicity. Subtle, creative. And easily overlooked.
What may at first glance appear to be a simple reversal involves two very special skills:
1. The ability to treat 2-dimensional characters as if they possess 3-dimensional characteristics (motion/ depth), and
2. The ability to recognize symbols, without actually seeing them, from altered perspectives.
As we decode backwards text, our mind’s eye compares each flipped letter with its ‘true’ counterpart. In much less time than it takes to tell, we play mental match-game between characters we see, and those we know. Only when we have strung together enough imaginary letters and words into sentences can we extract their precise meaning.
That we can Mirror Read it at all is pretty impressive. What’s more amazing is that we get faster fast.
Researchers attribute this to “synaptogenesis:” the generation of new neuron connections – specialized channels of communication between brain cells. In Mirror Reading, practice makes cortex; pathways used become more efficient, notably in the right hemisphere in regions not associated with regular reading.
Looking closely at the skills involved, we can see a resemblance between mirror reading skills and the right-brain proficiencies that many executive training programs purport to teach – enhancement of divergent thinking, creative problem-solving, responses versus reactions, optimization of working memory, slowing down to get fast…
Preliminary feedback on our RSS Headline News game on iTunes has been that mirror reading an article definitely takes longer than regular reading. AND that what one reads, and literally turns over in one’s mind, is STICKY. In other words, the content doesn’t just blend in to their synthesis of daily information: It stands out.
Reasearch on this very topic is forthcoming: Watch for it.
We can all use a little more genius in our lives.