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Psychoactive Drugs Essay

1250 words - 5 pages

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 potential is 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 ...view middle of the document...

This can occur
because the measure of dimensional complexity of the EEG activity is sensitive
enough to discriminate cortical processing invoked by tasks of divergent
creative thinking as compared with tasks requiring convergent analytical thought
(Molle at al., 1999). According to Hebb, as stated in Molle et al. (1999), an
assembly of cells represents the functional processing unit of the brain. These
assemblies represent closed systems with freer flow of information within a
system, as opposed to between systems (Molle et al. 1999). It follows from this
that two or more units can be active at the same time, while maintaining
autonomy. The number of cell assemblies activated can be taken as an indicator
of how complex the neuronal computations of the brain are at that precise moment
(Molle et al. 1999). This complexity is manifested in the EEG activity. It can
be assumed that the dimensional complexity of the EEG indicates the complexity
of neural dynamics underlying the EEG time series. Studies by Lutzenberger,
Preissl, and Pulvermuller (1995) as stated by Molle et al. (1999), suggests that
a task of divergent thinking requires a larger number of cell assemblies
compared to a task of convergent thinking, where only one right answer has to be
found. This difference should be illustrated through the EEG’s dimensional
complexity. The study to be undertaken will look at the EEG dimensional
complexity of subjects as they perform both divergent thought tasks and
convergent thought tasks. Of interest is whether a substantial difference in
recordings will be apparent. Does divergent thinking require more complex
cortical processing? Is so, in what area of the brain is this taking place.?
These are the two main questions at the heart of this study. METHOD Participants
As the aim of this study is to look at normal brain function, volunteers will be
selected from a first year psychology class. Fifteen males and fifteen females
will be chosen. Procedure The experiment will occur in an electrically shielded
room. Participants will sit in a reclining chair, while the experimenter sits
beside them just outside their visual field. They will be given four verbal
tasks. Two of the tasks will require divergent thinking, and two will require
convergent thinking. The divergent tasks will resemble those administered by
Molle et al (1999). Logic and arithmetic skills will have to be employed for the
convergent tasks. These tasks will consist of textbook type problem solving
questions, where only one right answer exists. In this experiment, these tasks
are the independent variable. The EEG, which is the dependent variable of
interest, will be monitored from a separate room. The recording sites on the
subjects would be on the frontal, central, parietal and occipital cortical
regions. Half the subjects will do the convergent task first, and the other half

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