Science posts

See science posts on page 62 below.

    • 2013
    • Rex E. Jung et al
    • The structure of creative cognition in the human brain
    • Creativity is a vast construct, seemingly intractable to scientific inquiry—perhaps due to the vague concepts applied to the field of research. One attempt to limit the purview of creative cognition formulates the construct in terms of evolutionary constraints, namely that of blind variation and selective retention (BVSR). Behaviorally, one can limit the “blind variation” component to idea generation tests as manifested by measures of divergent thinking. The “selective retention” component can be represented by measures of convergent thinking, as represented by measures of remote associates. We summarize results from measures of creative cognition, correlated with structural neuroimaging measures including structural magnetic resonance imaging (sMRI), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS). We also review lesion studies, considered to be the “gold standard” of brain-behavioral studies. What emerges is a picture consistent with theories of ..
    • 2005
    • Marco Iacoboni et al
    • Grasping the Intentions of Others with One's Own Mirror Neuron System
    • Understanding the intentions of others while watching their actions is a fundamental building block of social behavior. The neural and functional mechanisms underlying this ability are still poorly understood. To investigate these mechanisms we used functional magnetic resonance imaging. Twenty-three subjects watched three kinds of stimuli: grasping hand actions without a context, context only (scenes containing objects), and grasping hand actions performed in two different contexts. In the latter condition the context suggested the intention associated with the grasping action (either drinking or cleaning). Actions embedded in contexts, compared with the other two conditions, yielded a significant signal increase in the posterior part of the inferior frontal gyrus and the adjacent sector of the ventral premotor cortex where hand actions are represented. Thus, premotor mirror neuron areas—areas active during the execution and the observation of an action—previously thought to be invo..
    • 2004
    • Giacomo Rizzolatti1 and Laila Cr
    • THE MIRROR-NEURON SYSTEM
    • A category of stimuli of great importance for primates, humans in particular, is that formed by actions done by other individuals. If we want to survive, we must understand the actions of others. Furthermore, without action understanding, social organization is impossible. In the case of humans, there is another faculty that depends on the observation of others' actions: imitation learning. Unlike most species, we are able to learn by imitation, and this faculty is at the basis of human culture. In this review we present data on a neurophysiological mechanism—the mirror-neuron mechanism—that appears to play a fundamental role in both action understanding and imitation. We describe first the functional properties of mirror neurons in monkeys. We review next the characteristics of the mirror-neuron system in humans. We stress, in particular, those properties specific to the human mirror-neuron system that might explain the human capacity to learn by imitation. We conclude by discussing..
    • 2007
    • Gilbert CD et al
    • Brain states: top-down influences in sensory processing.
    • All cortical and thalamic levels of sensory processing are subject to powerful top-down influences, the shaping of lower-level processes by more complex information. New findings on the diversity of top-down interactions show that cortical areas function as adaptive processors, being subject to attention, expectation, and perceptual task. Brain states are determined by the interactions between multiple cortical areas and the modulation of intrinsic circuits by feedback connections. In perceptual learning, both the encoding and recall of learned information involves a selection of the appropriate inputs that convey information about the stimulus being discriminated. Disruption of this interaction may lead to behavioral disorders, including schizophrenia.
    • 2014
    • Jessica A. Collins, Ingrid R. Olson
    • Knowledge is Power: How Conceptual Knowledge Transforms Visual Cognition
    • In this review we synthesize the existing literature demonstrating the dynamic interplay between conceptual knowledge and visual perceptual processing. We consider two theoretical frameworks demonstrating interactions between processes and brain areas traditionally considered perceptual or conceptual. Specifically, we discuss categorical perception, in which visual objects are represented according to category membership, and highlight studies showing that category knowledge can penetrate early stages of visual analysis. We next discuss the embodied account of conceptual knowledge, which holds that concepts are instantiated in the same neural regions required for specific types of perception and action, and discuss the limitations of this framework. We additionally consider studies showing that gaining abstract semantic knowledge about objects and faces leads to behavioral and electrophysiological changes that are indicative of more efficient stimulus processing. Finally, we consider..
    • semantic memory, conceptual knowledge, perception, visual processing
    • 2014
    • Viren Swami et al
    • Analytic thinking reduces belief in conspiracy theories
    • Belief in conspiracy theories has been associated with a range of negative health, civic, and social outcomes, requiring reliable methods of reducing such belief. Thinking dispositions have been highlighted as one possible factor associated with belief in conspiracy theories, but actual relationships have only been infrequently studied. In Study 1, we examined associations between belief in conspiracy theories and a range of measures of thinking dispositions in a British sample (N = 990). Results indicated that a stronger belief in conspiracy theories was significantly associated with lower analytic thinking and open-mindedness and greater intuitive thinking. In Studies 2–4, we examined the causational role played by analytic thinking in relation to conspiracist ideation. In Study 2 (N = 112), we showed that a verbal fluency task that elicited analytic thinking reduced belief in conspiracy theories. In Study 3 (N = 189), we found that an alternative method of eliciting analytic think..
    • Conspiracy theories; Analytic thinking; Experiential thinking; Open-mindedness; Thinking dispositions
    • 2014
    • Olaf Blanke et al
    • Neurological and Robot-Controlled Induction of an Apparition
    • Tales of ghosts, wraiths, and other apparitions have been reported in virtually all cultures. The strange sensation that somebody is nearby when no one is actually present and cannot be seen (feeling of a presence, FoP) is a fascinating feat of the human mind, and this apparition is often covered in the literature of divinity, occultism, and fiction. Although it is described by neurological and psychiatric patients [ 1, 2 ] and healthy individuals in different situations [ 1, 3, 4 ], it is not yet understood how the phenomenon is triggered by the brain. Here, we performed lesion analysis in neurological FoP patients, supported by an analysis of associated neurological deficits. Our data show that the FoP is an illusory own-body perception with well-defined characteristics that is associated with sensorimotor loss and caused by lesions in three distinct brain regions: temporoparietal, insular, and especially frontoparietal cortex. Based on these data and recent experimental advances o..
    • 2008
    • Adrian Furnham et al
    • Personality and intelligence as predictors of creativity
    • Participants completed the Big Five NEO-FFI (Costa & McCrae, 1992) as a personality measure, the Wonderlic Personnel Test (Wonderlic, 1992) as an intelligence measure, and four measures of creativity: Guilford’s (1967) unusual uses divergent thinking test; the Biographical Inventory of Creative Behaviours; a self-rated measure of creativity; and the Barron–Welsh Art Scale to measure creative judgement. Extraversion was significantly related to all four measures of creativity. Intelligence failed to add any incremental variance in predicting the creativity scores. Multiple regression indicated that up to 47% of the variance in divergent thinking scores can be accounted for by the Big Five personality traits. Personality correlates to creativity vary as a function of the creativity measure.
    • Personality; Intelligence; Creativity
    • 2010
    • Mark Batey et al
    • Intelligence, general knowledge and personality as predictors of creativity
    • This study sought to examine the contribution of fluid intelligence, general knowledge and Big Five personality traits in predicting four indices of creativity: Divergent Thinking (DT) fluency, Rated DT, Creative Achievement and Self-Rated creativity and a combined Total Creativity variable. When creativity was assessed by DT test, the consistent predictor was fluid intelligence. When creativity was assessed in terms of achievement or self-rating, personality variables were consistently predictive.
    • Creativity; Divergent thinking; Personality; Fluid intelligence; Crystallized intelligence; General knowledge
    • 2010
    • Emily C. Nusbaum et al
    • Are intelligence and creativity really so different?
    • Contemporary creativity research views intelligence and creativity as essentially unrelated abilities, and many studies have found only modest correlations between them. The present research, based on improved approaches to creativity assessment and latent variable modeling, proposes that fluid and executive cognition is in fact central to creative thought. In Study 1, the substantial effect of fluid intelligence (Gf) on creativity was mediated by executive switching, the number of times people switched idea categories during the divergent thinking tasks. In Study 2, half the sample was given an effective strategy for an unusual uses task. The strategy condition interacted with Gf: people high in Gf did better when given the strategy, consistent with their higher ability to maintain access to it and use it despite interference. Taken together, the findings suggest that divergent thinking is more convergent than modern creativity theories presume.
    • Creativity; Intelligence; Divergent thinking; Executive processes; Interference

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