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IN SEARCH OF THE NEUROBIOLOGICAL BASIS OF DIVERGENT THINKING

A. Rossi, G. Sprugnoli, E. Santarnecchi
  • A. Rossi
    Brain Investigation & Neuromodulation Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Surgery and Neuroscience, University of Siena, Italy | rossiale@unisi.it
  • G. Sprugnoli
    Brain Investigation & Neuromodulation Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Surgery and Neuroscience, University of Siena, Italy
  • E. Santarnecchi
    Brain Investigation & Neuromodulation Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Surgery and Neuroscience, University of Siena; Berenson-Allen Center for Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation, Beth Israel Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA; Center for Complex Systems Study, Department of Engineering and Mathematics, University of Siena, Italy

Abstract

Human mind can follow two opposite types of reasoning in everyday life as well as in science: convergent thinking, as the ability to get the unique solution to a problem, or divergent thinking, the ability to elaborate different answer to a question. The latter is usually considered as an essential feature of the “creative mind”, together with Insight, an unpredictable and unexpected moment of exceptional thinking commonly reported as the “Eureka!" experience. During such processing, an unconscious reorganization process of previously unrelated problem elements is made and when the solution finally emerges to consciousness, the subject is not able to explain how he/she reached it. Because of its unpredictable and unconscious nature, as well as its connection with creativity and scientific discoveries, the definition and evaluation of insight is now one of the biggest challenges for modern cognitive neuroscience. Neurophysiological evidence begins to arise, making the enhancement of creativity thinking using non-invasive neuromodulation techniques a plausible future scenario.

Keywords

convergent thinking; divergent thinking; insight; neuromodulation

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Submitted: 2014-03-15 16:07:28
Published: 2014-12-31 00:00:00
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Copyright (c) 2014 A. Rossi, G. Sprugnoli, E. Santarnecchi

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