An anonymous reader writes: Being a competitive Scrabble player apparently warps your brain, in a good way, according to researchers at the University of Calgary in Canada. At the high level of the game, players quickly judge whether words, or possible words are real based in large part on their visual stimuli — not an inherent knowledge of the word or its meaning. "These findings indicate that Scrabble players are less reliant on the meaning of words to judge whether or not they are real, and more flexible at word recognition using orthographic information.
... Competitive Scrabble players are visual word recognition experts and their skill pushes the bounds of what we previously considered the end-point of development of the word recognition system.”