Science posts

See science posts on page 67 below.

    • 2011
    • Annukka K. Lindell
    • Lateral thinkers are not so laterally minded: Hemispheric asymmetry, interaction, and creativity
    • The biological basis of creativity remains a topic of contention. A long-held view suggests that whereas the left hemisphere is intelligent and analytic, the right hemisphere is the source of all creativity. Consequently, activating the right hemisphere should enhance creative thinking, prompting a plethora of popular books hawking a right hemisphere solution to topics ranging from drawing, to money management, to sex. More recently, an alternate proposal has suggested that creativity is not a lateralised function; instead, creativity is argued to stem from the interaction and integration of information across both the left and right hemispheres. According to this view, individuals with greater interhemispheric communication and/or less-lateralised brains will evidence enhanced creative ability. This paper reviews the neural basis of creativity to determine whether creativity stems from activation of the right hemisphere, or from the interaction of both hemispheres. The relationship ..
    • Creativity, Laterality, Left, Right, Hemisphere, Interhemispheric transfer
    • 2007
    • William W. Seeley et al
    • Unravelling Boléro: progressive aphasia, transmodal creativity and the right posterior neocortex
    • Most neurological lesion studies emphasize performance deficits that result from focal brain injury. Here, we describe striking gains of function in a patient with primary progressive aphasia, a degenerative disease of the human language network. During the decade before her language deficits arose, Anne Adams (AA), a lifelong scientist, developed an intense drive to produce visual art. Paintings from AA's artistic peak revealed her capacity to create expressive transmodal art, such as renderings of music in paint, which may have reflected an increased subjective relatedness among internal perceptual and conceptual images. AA became fascinated with Maurice Ravel, the French composer who also suffered from a progressive aphasia, and painted his best-known work, ‘Boléro’, by translating its musical elements into visual form. Later paintings, achieved when AA was nearly mute, moved towards increasing photographic realism, perhaps because visual representations came to dominate AA's ment..
    • 2009
    • Kalina Christoff
    • Experience sampling during fMRI reveals default network and executive system contributions to mind wandering
    • Although mind wandering occupies a large proportion of our waking life, its neural basis and relation to ongoing behavior remain controversial. We report an fMRI study that used experience sampling to provide an online measure of mind wandering during a concurrent task. Analyses focused on the interval of time immediately preceding experience sampling probes demonstrate activation of default network regions during mind wandering, a finding consistent with theoretical accounts of default network functions. Activation in medial prefrontal default network regions was observed both in association with subjective self-reports of mind wandering and an independent behavioral measure (performance errors on the concurrent task). In addition to default network activation, mind wandering was associated with executive network recruitment, a finding predicted by behavioral theories of off-task thought and its relation to executive resources. Finally, neural recruitment in both default and executi..
    • 2005
    • Bradley S. Folley
    • Verbal creativity and schizotypal personality in relation to prefrontal hemispheric laterality: A behavioral and near-infrared optical imaging study
    • Although anecdotal and correlational results have suggested a reliable relationship between creativity and psychosis, few studies have examined this relationship using empirical methods. In addition, little is known about the neural substrates of creative thinking. We investigated the creative thinking process in relation to schizotypal personality, schizophrenia and prefrontal hemispheric laterality using behavioral and near-infrared optical spectroscopy (NIRS) methods. Schizophrenic, psychometrically ascertained schizotypal, and healthy control subjects (all right-handed) participated in a novel “alternate uses” task designed to assess divergent thinking (DT) ability. The DT task required subjects to generate “uses” for conventional and ambiguous objects. Prefrontal activity was measured using NIRS while subjects were engaged in DT vs. a cognitive control task in a subset of the subjects. Behavioral data indicated that schizotypes had enhanced DT ability compared with schizophrenic..
    • Schizophrenia, Schizotypal personality, Schizotypy, Creativity, Divergent thinking, Hemispheric laterality, Near-infrared optical imaging, Functional neuroimaging, Prefrontal cortex
    • 2008
    • Carver, Charles S.; Johnson, Sheri L.; Joormann, Jutta
    • Serotonergic function, two-mode models of self-regulation, and vulnerability to depression: What depression has in common with impulsive aggression.
    • Evidence from diverse literatures supports the viewpoint that two modes of self-regulation exist, a lower-order system that responds quickly to associative cues of the moment and a higher-order system that responds more reflectively and planfully; that low serotonergic function is linked to relative dominance of the lower-order system; that how dominance of the lower-order system is manifested depends on additional variables; and that low serotonergic function therefore can promote behavioral patterns as divergent as impulsive aggression and lethargic depression. Literatures reviewed include work on two-mode models; studies of brain function supporting the biological plausibility of the two-mode view and the involvement of serotonergic pathways in functions pertaining to it; and studies relating low serotonergic function to impulsiveness, aggression (including extreme violence), aspects of personality, and depression vulnerability. Substantial differences between depression and other..
    • 2011
    • Gerd Gigerenzer, Wolfgang Gaissmaier
    • Heuristic Decision Making
    • As reflected in the amount of controversy, few areas in psychology have undergone such dramatic conceptual changes in the past decade as the emerging science of heuristics. Heuristics are efficient cognitive processes, conscious or unconscious, that ignore part of the information. Because using heuristics saves effort, the classical view has been that heuristic decisions imply greater errors than do “rational” decisions as defined by logic or statistical models. However, for many decisions, the assumptions of rational models are not met, and it is an empirical rather than an a priori issue how well cognitive heuristics function in an uncertain world. To answer both the descriptive question (“Which heuristics do people use in which situations?”) and the prescriptive question (“When should people rely on a given heuristic rather than a complex strategy to make better judgments?”), formal models are indispensable. We review research that tests formal models of heuristic inference, inclu..
    • 2010
    • Andreas Fink
    • Enhancing creativity by means of cognitive stimulation: Evidence from an fMRI study
    • Cognitive stimulation via the exposure to ideas of other people is an effective tool in stimulating creativity in group-based creativity techniques. In this fMRI study, we investigate whether creative cognition can be enhanced through idea sharing and how performance improvements are reflected in brain activity. Thirty-one participants had to generate alternative uses of everyday objects during fMRI recording. Additionally, participants performed this task after a time period in which they had to reflect on their ideas or in which they were confronted with stimulus-related ideas of others. Cognitive stimulation was effective in improving originality, and this performance improvement was associated with activation increases in a neural network including right-hemispheric temporo-parietal, medial frontal, and posterior cingulate cortices, bilaterally. Given the involvement of these brain areas in semantic integration, memory retrieval, and attentional processes, cognitive stimulation c..
    • 2005
    • Paul A. Howard-Jones
    • Semantic divergence and creative story generation: An fMRI investigation
    • The aim of this fMRI investigation was to identify those areas of the brain associated with approaching a story generation task creatively and to investigate the effects upon these correlates of incorporating a set of words that were unrelated to each other—a strategy considered to encourage semantic divergence. Preliminary experiments were undertaken to investigate the possible confounding effects of the scanner environment upon creativity and to reveal the effects of creative effort and word relatedness upon the creativity of those who would be participating in the fMRI scan. In the final part of the investigation, a factorial fMRI design was used to elucidate brain regions involved in increased creative effort and also the effect upon activity in these regions when participants incorporated words that bore little semantic relationship with each other. Results support the notion that areas of the right prefrontal cortex are critical to the types of divergent semantic processing inv..
    • Semantic processing, Creativity, fMRI, Right prefrontal cortex
    • 2008
    • O. M. Bazanova, L. I. Aftanas
    • Individual measures of electroencephalogram alpha activity and non-verbal creativity
    • The aim of the present work was to study correlational interactions between individual measures of alpha-activity in the baseline electroencephalogram (maximum peak frequency, range width, depth of alpha activity desynchronization reactions, structural characteristics of alpha spindles) and measures of non-verbal intellect (“Fluency,” “Originality,” “Flexibility”) in the Torrance test in 98 healthy male subjects. These studies provided the first demonstration that individuals with high alpha-rhythm maximum peak frequency values and prolonged alpha spindles were generally characterized by more “fluent” non-verbal intellect. In turn, high levels of originality and intellectual plasticity showed a significant association with a wider range of alpha activity and variability of alpha spindle amplitude. The highest levels of originality in solving non-verbal tasks were seen in subjects with the lowest values for individual alpha-activity peak frequencies. These measures of the alpha rhythm..
    • 2004
    • Arne Dietrich
    • The cognitive neuroscience of creativity
    • This article outlines a framework of creativity based on functional neuroanatomy. Recent advances in the field of cognitive neuroscience have identified distinct brain circuits that are involved in specific higher brain functions. To date, these findings have not been applied to research on creativity. It is proposed that there are four basic types of creative insights, each mediated by a distinctive neural circuit. By definition, creative insights occur in consciousness. Given the view that the working memory buffer of the prefrontal cortex holds the content of consciousness, each of the four distinctive neural loops terminates there. When creativity is the result of deliberate control, as opposed to spontaneous generation, the prefrontal cortex also instigates the creative process. Both processing modes, deliberate and spontaneous, can guide neural computation in structures that contribute emotional content and in structures that provide cognitive analysis, yielding the four basic ..