The major appeal of sudoku and other Japanese logic puzzles is attributed to their simple rules and the application of logic without special knowledge of words or math. As a classic puzzle-type, logic puzzles can range from fairly easy to fiendishly difficult. The merits of these brainteasers are cited as follows: satisfaction from solving or completing something difficult; prevention of memory decline; development of logic skills; and pure mental entertainment.
Although Japanese have developed many types of logic puzzles for the last twenty years, the most common ones found in puzzle magazines are the following: sudoku, kakuro, nonogram, slither link, and divide by squares. (by Diana Lee, November 1, 2005, Uniorb: Asian Trend: Japan)
According to retired psychologist, Patsi Krakoff, Psy.D., who writes a blog for “Keeping Your Brain Healthy”, states that “In the past decade, researchers have found definitive evidence that the brain continues to generate new brain cells throughout life. Studies indicate that challenging environments, which include a number of components, such as pumped-up learning opportunities, social interactions and physical activities, are key to boosting the growth of new brain cells. What does this mean for humans? We can keep our brain healthy by entering into new situations, new games, and new social group activities. And if we keep learning new things, and engage in physical activity, we can continue growing new brain cells.”
Source: Keeping your Brain Healthy and Smart by Patsi Krakoff, Psy.D