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Creativity as an Emergent Property of Neural System Dynamics as Demonstrated through Embodied Measures of Insight Problem Solving

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Creativity is a critical element of human cognition for which any complete explanation of the human mind must account, and it presents a unique problem to cognitive science because the apparent "something from nothing" nature of creativity confounds simple transformations

Creativity is a critical element of human cognition for which any complete explanation of the human mind must account, and it presents a unique problem to cognitive science because the apparent "something from nothing" nature of creativity confounds simple transformations of existing information. Emergentism provides a philosophical framework for explaining this feature of creativity by elaborating how novel properties of a system can be created from the complex interactions of simple elements within that system. Previous advances in cognitive science have been built the traditional information processing models of cognition. These models are limited in their ability to explain emergentism or allow for detailed behavioral measurement and understanding of cognition as it unfolds in time. In this study, I piloted the use state-of-the-art dynamical systems models of cognition and motion capture technology to measure information about cognitive and neural processes in the moments preceding creative insight. Insight problem solving refers to the phenomenon of experiencing an impasse when attempting to solve a problem that is later overcome in a flash of insight, sometimes called an "Aha!" or "Eureka!" moment. The use of these techniques to study insight problem solving provides evidence of the dynamical nature of cognition during creative tasks that may help us explore how creativity emerges from neural activity.

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2017-05

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Testing the Limits of a Reading Comprehension Intervention

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This study investigates whether children who are Dual Language Learners (DLLs) and who have poor reading comprehension will benefit from participating in the EMBRACE intervention. The reading comprehension program is based on the Theory of Embodied Cognition, which focuses on

This study investigates whether children who are Dual Language Learners (DLLs) and who have poor reading comprehension will benefit from participating in the EMBRACE intervention. The reading comprehension program is based on the Theory of Embodied Cognition, which focuses on the embodied nature of language comprehension. Our understanding of language is based on mental representations that we create through experiences and are integrated with according sensorimotor information. Therefore, by engaging the motor and language system through reading stories on an iPad that prompt the children to manipulate images on-screen, we might improve children's reading strategies and comprehension scores. Fifty-six children participated in reading three stories and answering related questions over a period of two weeks. Results showed that the intervention was successful in increasing reading comprehension scores in the physical manipulation condition but not in the imaginary manipulation condition. Although lower motor skill scores positively correlated with lower comprehension skills, the children's motor deficits did not moderate their performance on the intervention.

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2016-12