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