ATTENTION, EYE MOVEMENTS & INSIGHT
I'm researching how the vision-system is involved in insight problem-solving and creativity. People often report having their best creative ideas while they are shutting their eyes, looking on a white wall or out the window. What are the attentive correlates, and corresponding biomarkers of this modulation?
NOVELTY, REWARD & DOPAMINE SYSTEM
I investigate the role played by the dopamine system in problem-solving and how that interacts with exposure to novelty and reward. Specifically, I research what happens after a creative idea or solving a problem, and the role played by the dopamine system in this scenario.
ACCURACY of INSIGHTS
'Aha! moments' are satisfying in part because they feel so right; with little conscious effort, all the pieces seem to just fall into place. However, without the proofs, can we trust these sudden solutions? Our pioneering 2016 study in the field of insight problem solving demonstrated that the feeling of certainty accompanying insights indeed corresponds to increased response accuracy (i.e. veracity).
ROLE OF ANTERIOR TEMPORAL LOBE IN INSIGHT PROBLEM SOLVING
Previous research conducted in our lab identified a distinctive brain network for insight problem-solving. Within this network, the right Anterior Temporal Lobe (rATL), putatively involved in semantic integration, is preferentially activated when participants experience an 'Aha! moment.' In my more recent research, we worked on non-invasive brain stimulation over the rATL and increased the rate of insights.
INSIGHT in ITALY
Since May 2013 I have developed a project to create and validate the Italian version of two pools of problems (i.e. puzzles): CRA, RAT, anagrams and Rebus Problems. These sets have been used in several studies, opening the field of research to Italian scientists.
How is an idea born, developed, and breached into our mind?
neural mechanisms underlying insight problem solving (i.e., Aha! Moments) and creativity