Joydeep Bhattacharya, from the Department of Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London and his graduate student Simone Sandkühler from the University of Vienna, ran a study to find out what changes go on in the brain when it is trying to solve a problem.
The study, published in the Journal PLoS ONE this month, used electroencephalography (EEG) to monitor the brains of volunteers whilst giving them verbal problems to solve. Watching the changes in the brain as the volunteers solved the problems, they particularly wanted to see if the changes were sudden or gradual.
If a volunteer wasn’t able to solve a problem and had hit upon, what researchers call, a ‘mental impasse’ (ie mental block), they could ask for a clue to help them find the answer. The study found that mental impasse was associated with strong gamma rhythms, a brain wave often linked to focussed attention. The strength of gamma rhythms at the time of clue presentation also predicted whether the clue would lead to a correct solution or not: higher the gamma, less likely the solution. Interestingly the researchers found that it was the alpha rhythm, which is usually linked to less-attentive yet spontaneously relaxed brain-state, facilitates thinking that leads to a correct solution.
Dr. Bhattacharya said; “If there is an excessive attention it somehow creates a mental fixation, and the brain is in a less receptive condition. Our findings suggest that it is actually better to tackle problems with an open mind as volunteers who had a high level of alpha brain rhythms, rather than gamma, were much more likely to utilize the clue successfully in order to produce the solution.”
Sarah Empey | alfa
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences