The Neuroscience Behind Creative Ideas

Date/Time
Date(s) - 04/20/18
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Location
Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago

Hosted by
Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago


The Neuroscience Behind Creative Ideas

Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago

Friday, April 20, 2018 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

The Neuroscience Behind Creative Ideas  

We often imagine ideas as a lightbulb illuminating above our heads, or perhaps most iconically, as Archimedes’ exclamation “Eureka!” Neuroscientific research has recently distinguished two brain processes activated when we solve problems. The first is a step-by-step methodical process where we achieve the solution gradually, often through trial and error. In the second, a stubborn problem is suddenly reorganized in a novel way, and we are surprised when the apparently correct solution abruptly emerges into our awareness. Our latest studies on these two distinct neural circuits tug at the proverbial lightbulb’s pull cord, illuminating one of the most central and elusive abilities inside the “black box” of the human mind: the generation of an idea.

Carola Salvi (from Bergamo, Italy) is a researcher at Northwestern University in Evanston, and the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago. In 2013, she received her Ph.D in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Milano-Bicocca in Milan, Italy, and has been specializing in the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying insight problem solving and creativity since 2010. Besides several contributions to that field, she created the first four sets of research problems and rebus puzzles in the Italian language, enabling neuroscientists for the first time to investigate insight problem solving among Italian speakers. She is also committed to uniting the Italian scientific community outside of Italy, and to this end is one of the founding members of AIRIcerca, and AIRIcerca Chicago Chapter, as well as a member of the editorial board of AIRInforma.

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