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Board 142: Neurocognitive Evidence on the Impact of Topical Familiarity in Creative Outcomes

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

11

DOI

10.18260/1-2--32257

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/32257

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83

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Paper Authors

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Rafal Jonczyk Department of Psychology, Pennsylvania State University, USA; Faculty of English, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-2268-3792

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Janet van Hell Pennsylvania State University

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Gül E. Okudan Kremer Iowa State University

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Gül E. Kremer received her PhD from the Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering of Missouri University of Science & Technology. Her research interests include multi-criteria decision analysis methods applied to improvement of products and systems. She is a senior member of IIE, a fellow of ASME, a former Fulbright scholar and NRC Faculty Fellow. Her recent research focus includes sustainable product design and enhancing creativity in engineering design settings.

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Zahed Siddique University of Oklahoma

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Zahed Siddique is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering of University of Oklahoma. His research interest include product family design, advanced material and engineering education. He is interested in motivation of engineering students, peer-to-peer learning, flat learning environments, technology assisted engineering education and experiential learning. He is the coordinator of the industry sponsored capstone from at his school and is the advisor of OU's FSAE team.

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Abstract

Engineering programs, in general, do not explicitly address the need to enhance divergent thinking. To a certain extent this is due to a lack in knowledge on the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying divergent thinking, and creative ideation more generally. We hypothesize that we can help enhance our students’ divergent thinking and creative processing outcomes by investigating the impacts of carefully selected methods and tools enabled by developments in the robust analysis of engineering ideation performance, and neurocognitive responses to creativity.

In this paper, we present an experiment using the Event-Related brain Potentials (ERP) technique and creative language use (funded by Core R&D Programs). More specifically, we collected ERP responses to literal, nonsense, and novel metaphorical sentences that were either referring to engineering knowledge or general knowledge, testing engineering and non-engineering students. Following Rutter et al. [1], sentences differed in verb only and had been classified in prior sentence norming studies as highly unusual and highly appropriate (novel metaphors), low unusual and highly appropriate (literal sentences), and highly unusual and low appropriate (nonsense sentences). Participants read sentences while their EEG was recorded, and after reading the sentence made judgments about its unusualness and appropriateness. The findings indicate that prior knowledge modulates novel metaphor processing at the stage of lexico–semantic access, indexed by the amplitude of N400 component. Specifically, N400 amplitudes to novel metaphorical sentences are significantly reduced and pattern with literal sentences in engineers; in nonengineers, by contrast, we observed increased N400 amplitudes to novel metaphorical sentences that pattern with anomalous sentences. This mirror effect on the N400 corroborates recent findings demonstrating a strong impact of prior experience and expertise on meaning ambiguity resolution, which may in turn have implications for creative cognition.

Jonczyk, R., & van Hell, J., & Okudan Kremer, G. E., & Siddique, Z. (2019, June), Board 142: Neurocognitive Evidence on the Impact of Topical Familiarity in Creative Outcomes Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32257

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