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Does becoming efficient in the cube help build your brain to be able to do other tasks better? What tasks and how?

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Don't know of any research on the Rubik's Cube specifically. I did find this (https://arxiv.org/abs/1505.00750) but it looks like it was a presentation given by a mathematician at a mathematics conference, and it doesn't look like any actual experiment was performed to test the things that are being claimed. So I wouldn't take it seriously.

However, I would be surprised if practicing Rubick's Cubes actually did improve general cognitive function. Improving at specific tasks like brain-training apps usually doesn't improve general cognitive function (although evidence is still somewhat mixed), it makes you better at those tasks. Arguably, the mixed results can be explained by the fact that participants' performance will look look like an improvement in general cognitive function if you measure it in a task similar to the one that was practiced.

So in short, my expectation would be that it would generalize to very similar tasks, if anything at all. However, no one's actually done it, so if you try it and get results it'd be publishable, and if you want to form your own opinion the literature to look at would be cognitive training.

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See this new work by Valerie et al found some benefits:

https://repository.isls.org/handle/1/6719

Quoting from the paper:

Middle school students participated in four sessions of Rubik’s Cube training designed by the lead researcher and a partner middle school teacher. Results indicate that students improved in their ability to execute two and three- dimensional mental rotation tests.

Valerie, J., Aylward, G., & Varma, K. (2020). I Solved it! Using the Rubik’s Cube to Support Mental Rotation in a Middle School Science Classroom.

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  • $\begingroup$ P.S: If you are working towards testing a hypothesis on this please let me know. $\endgroup$ Jun 24 at 14:13
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    $\begingroup$ I added a few details given the reference does seem relevant to the question, even if I'm generally skeptical of transfer from these kinds of itnerventions. $\endgroup$ Jun 30 at 6:13

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