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Dimensional Complexity of the EEG During Divergent and Convergent Thought Processes INTRODUCTION 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 administration of divergent thinking tests Mumford Marks Connelly Zaccaro Johnson 1998 In these tests people are requested to generate as many alternative answers as possible to a series of ill-defined open-ended problems Brown 1989 The number of ideas used in answering the problem are counted and can be taken as a performance measure of creative thinking On the other side of the scale is convergent thinking Here very strong mental associations are maintained which upon activation come to a single conclusion that can only be either right or wrong with a clear connection between the mental representation and the original stimulus Molle et al 1999 Thus two opposite modes of thinking seem to exist each serving a different function and each having tests that tap into this function What is of interest however is the fact that little physical evidence has been collected to support these models Finding an actual physical correlate for these theories is the purpose if this exploratory research If creativity exists then it should have some biological foundation One way to study this is with the use of the electroencephalogram EEG The dimensional complexity of the EEG can be used to establish a differentiation of divergent and
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