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
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
18.08.2017 | Life Sciences
18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.08.2017 | Information Technology