Electrophysiological Parameters and the Possibility of Increasing Imaginal Creativity Using Monetary Rewards
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EEG correlates of imaginal creative activity and its effectiveness after the instruction “create an original solution” (INS1) alone and with the promise of monetary reward for good results (INS2) were studied. Right-handed subjects (15 men, 16 women) took part in the study. The task was the Torrance “unfinished figure” subtest. As compared with INS1, subsequent stimulation using INS2 did not lead to any increase in the originality of the images produced, though fluency was reduced. INS2 was followed by a decrease in the power of the theta1 rhythm before task performance, and this effect persisted during image creation. Baseline values for power in the alpha1 and alpha2 rhythms were greater in INS2 than in INS1. In the beta1 and beta2 ranges, the effects of INS2 consisted of decreases in experimental measures of the power of biopotentials in the beta rhythms in the posterior areas of the cerebral cortex. These effects may be associated with pretuning to the activity to be performed and its performance in conditions of increased external motivation. The increase in external motivation also led to changes in the hemisphere asymmetry of power levels at the frequencies of the theta1, alpha1, and beta2 rhythms, due to changes in the activity of the left hemisphere, which may underlie the different effects of high levels of motivation on subjects relying on right- and left-hemisphere strategies for solving divergent tasks.
KeywordsEEG monetary reward imaginal creativity
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