Human potential is characterized by our ability to think flexibly and develop novel solutions to problems. In cognitive neuroscience, problem solving is studied using various tasks. For example, IQ can be tested using the RAVEN, which measures abstract reasoning. Analytical problem solving can be tested using algebra, and insight can be tested using a nine-dot test. Our class of problem-solving tasks blends analytical and insight processes. This can be done by measuring multiply-constrained problem solving (MCPS). MCPS occurs when an individual problem has several solutions, but when grouped with simultaneous problems only one correct solution presents itself. The most common test for MCPS is known at the CRAT, or compound remote associate task. For example, when given the three target words “water, skate, and cream” there are many compound associates that can be assigned each of the target words individually (i.e. salt-water, roller-skate, whipped-cream), but only one that works with all three (ice-water, ice-skate, ice-cream).
This thesis is a tutorial for a MATLAB user-interface, known as EEGLAB. Cognitive and neural correlates of analytical and insight processes were evaluated and analyzed in the CRAT using EEG. It was hypothesized that different EEG signals will be measured for analytical versus insight problem solving, primarily observed in the gamma wave production. The data was interpreted using EEGLAB, which allows psychological processes to be quantified based on physiological response. I have written a tutorial showing how to process the EEG signal through filtering, extracting epochs, artifact detection, independent component analysis, and the production of a time – frequency plot. This project has combined my interest in psychology with my knowledge of engineering and expand my knowledge of bioinstrumentation.