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Creative vs. Computational Thinking: talk by Giovanni Corazza at Webster University

Creative vs. Computational Thinking

When surprise becomes a rational necessity

A public talk by Prof. Giovanni Corazza in the Creativity and Innovation Lecture Series organized by the Webster Center for Creativity and Innovation (WCCI) (24 May 2018)

 

The human species is running fast towards what can be identified as the Post-Information Society, in which anthropomorphic as well as non-anthropomorphic forms of artificial intelligence will be pervasive, with dramatic impact on both the job market and the educational system. It is therefore essential that we pose today both ultimate and proximal questions about the future of our species and its role in future cyber-physical collaborations. While there is a current tendency to believe that the correct answer for the educational system is the introduction of computational thinking as a subject for all, we maintain that this set of skills will not be sufficient, and indeed not the most important one. Our well-being from both psychological and social points of view, as well as the preservation of our specific role in the economy, will depend on the development of the specifically human traits and abilities related to what we identify as organic creativity, which includes our capacity to use unexpected elements in our cognitive processes: surprise will have to become a rational necessity!

 

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A new neurofeedback procedure to increase creative cognition

Can we increase creative performance through the training of specific brain dynamics?

A new article published on Neuropsychologia by MIC describes an innovative neurofeedback procedure to increase creative cognition

Abstract:

The present article describes an innovative neurofeedback training (NFT) procedure aimed at increasing creative cognition through the enhancement of specific brain activities previously associated with divergent thinking. We designed and tested two NFT protocols based on training alpha and beta EEG oscillations selectively measured over the right parietal region. A total of 80 participants were involved, 40 in the alpha NFT protocol and 40 in the beta NFT protocol. The NFT loop was closed on a video stream that would advance only when oscillation power exceeded a normalized threshold. The total duration of the protocol was two hours in a single day, hence its classification as rapid. Changes in ideational fluency and originality, measured with a divergent thinking task, were compared between participants receiving real video feedback and participants receiving sham feedback. We controlled for individual differences in creative achievement level. Results showed that the protocols were effective at enhancing alpha and beta activities in the targeted area. Differences between the two protocols emerged in their effectiveness at promoting divergent thinking. While no significant changes in originality re- sulted from the rapid alpha NFT, increases in both originality and fluency emerged as a consequence of the rapid beta NFT. These results were particularly evident in participants starting with a low creative achievement level. Possible interpretations and future directions are proposed and discussed. 

 

Neurofeedback

 

Click here to download the paper 

Agnoli, S., Zanon, M., Mastria, S., Avenanti, A., & Corazza, G. E. (2018). Enhancing creative cognition with a rapid right-parietal neurofeedback procedure. Neuropsychologia

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