Learning Sciences of Change

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Creativity, Problem Solving and Innovative Science: Insights from History, Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience

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This paper examines the intersection between creativity, problem solving, cognitive psychology and neuroscience in a discussion surrounding the genesis of new ideas and innovative science. Three creative activities are considered. These are (a) the interaction between visual-spatial and analytical or verbal reasoning, (b) attending to feeling in listening to the ‘self’, and (c) the interaction between conscious and non-conscious reasoning. Evidence for the importance of each of these activities to the creative process is drawn from (a) historical and introspective accounts of novel problem solving by noted scientists and mathematicians; (b) cognitive psychology and neuroscience; and (c) a recent empirical study of novel mathematics problem solving. An explanation of these activities is given in terms of cognitive neuroscience. A conceptual framework connecting each  of these activities is presented and the implications for learning and teaching considered.

Written by Giorgio Bertini

May 16, 2011 at 3:40 pm


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