Showing posts from August, 2011

Zapping the Brain to get Insights (not joking)

Flash of fresh insight by electrical brain stimulation February 3, 2011 by Editor [+] An illustration of the insight problems used (PLoS) Richard Chi and Allan Snyder from the Centre for the Mind at the University of Sydney have found that participants who received electrical stimulation of the anterior temporal lobes were three times as likely to reach the fresh insight necessary to solve a difficult, unfamiliar problem than those in the control group. According to the researchers, our propensity to rigidly apply strategies and insights that have had previous success is a major bottleneck to making creative leaps in solving new problems. There is normally a cognitive tradeoff between the necessity of being fast at the familiar on one hand and being receptive to novelty on the other.Chi and Snyder argue that we can modulate this tradeoff to our advantage by applying transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a safe, non-invasive technique that temporarily increases or decreases e…