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Neural correlates of creative thinking : conceptual expansion processing

Neuronale Korrelate kreativen Denkens : konzeptuelle Erweiterung

Kröger, Sören


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URN: urn:nbn:de:hebis:26-opus-118411
URL: http://geb.uni-giessen.de/geb/volltexte/2015/11841/

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Freie Schlagwörter (Deutsch): Kreativität , konzeptuelle Erweiterung
Freie Schlagwörter (Englisch): creativity , conceptual expansion
Universität Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
Institut: Abteilung für Klinische Psychologie und Psychotherapie
Fachgebiet: Psychologie
DDC-Sachgruppe: Psychologie
Dokumentart: Dissertation
Sprache: Englisch
Tag der mündlichen Prüfung: 15.12.2015
Erstellungsjahr: 2015
Publikationsdatum: 16.12.2015
Kurzfassung auf Englisch: In contemporary scientific discourse, creative thinking is seen as arising from a medley of normative cognitive processes that are not exclusive to highly creative people.
Following this modern continuum-based view, one functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study and one event-related potential (ERP) study, implementing a novel task design, were carried out to investigate the neural correlates of conceptual expansion, acritical facet of creative thinking. Conceptual expansion is one of the core processes in the invention of creative ideas and describes the ability to widen the boundaries of existing semantic concepts beyond conventional limits. The new task design used a modified version of the alternate uses task and required subjects to rate a given object and a described use for this object into one of three possible categories: High-unusual and low-appropriate (nonsense), low-unusual and high-appropriate (common), and high-unusual and high-appropriate (creative). Brain activation during trials rated as high-unusual and high-appropriate (creative) reflected conceptual expansion processing and were contrasted with trials reflecting pure novelty processing (nonsense object-use combinations) or appropriateness processing (creative and common uses).
As hypothesized, the fMRI results showed conceptual expansion related activation in a semantic and conceptual integration network comprising the frontopolar cortex, anterior inferior frontal gyrus, anterior cingulate cortex and the temporal poles.
The ERP study investigated whether conceptual expansion related activation could be observed in the N400-time window. Results showed a post-N400 effect, differentiating conceptual expansion specific processing from the processing of mere novelty or appropriateness, implicating semantic integration brain mechanisms.
Both studies together led to the uncovering of relevant brain networks and cerebral time flow of conceptual expansion processing. These studies illustrate a new and viable approach by which to investigate predefined facets of creative thinking using neuroscientific methods, which allowed for more consistent and specific results to surface compared to prior creativity research.
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