Dimensional Complexity

Dimensional Complexity of the EEG During Divergent and Convergent Thought Processes
Creativity is one of the most difficult mental functions to study. While a concrete definition remains illusive, it has been established as a multifaceted phenomenon (Kitto, Lok & Rudowicz, 1994). One facet that is an important component of creative potentialis divergent thinking (Vosburg, 1998), this is the ability to generate several alternative solutions to a problem. The mental processing involved occurs in such a way as to activate as many mental representations as possible, maintaining only a weak connection to the original stimulus (Molle, Marshall, Wolf, Fehm & Born, 1999).One of the more popular methods for assessing creative potential then,is through the administration of divergent thinking tests (Mumford, Marks, Connelly , Zaccaro & Johnson, 1998). In these tests people are requested to generate as many alternative answers as possible to a series of ill-defined, open-ended problems (Brown, 1989). The number of ideas used in answering the problem are counted, and can be taken as a performance measure of creative thinking.
On the other side of the scale is convergent thinking. Here, very strong mental associations are maintained which upon activation come to a single conclusion that can only be either right or wrong , with a clear connection between the mental representation and the original stimulus (Molle et al., 1999). Thus, two opposite modes of thinking seem to exist, each serving a different function and each having tests that tap into this function.
What is of interest, however is the fact that little physical evidence has been collected to support these models. Finding an actual physical correlate for these theories is the purpose if this exploratory research. If creativity exists, then it should have some biological foundation. One way to study this is with the use of the electroencephalogram (EEG). The dimensional comple…

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