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Effects of the brief viewing of emotional stimuli on understanding of insight solutions

Sakaki, M. ORCID: and Niki, K. (2011) Effects of the brief viewing of emotional stimuli on understanding of insight solutions. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 11 (4). pp. 526-540. ISSN 1531-135X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3758/s13415-011-0051-0


In the present study, we examined whether and how brief viewing of positive and negative images influences subsequent understanding of solutions to insight problems. For each trial, participants were first presented with an insight problem and then briefly viewed a task-irrelevant positive, negative, or neutral image (660 ms), which was followed by the solution to the problem. In our behavioral study (Study 1), participants were faster to report that they understood the solutions following positive images, and were slower to report it following negative images. A subsequent fMRI study (Study 2) revealed enhanced activity in the angular gyrus and medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) while viewing solutions following positive, as compared with negative, images. In addition, greater activation of the angular gyrus was associated with more rapid understanding of the solutions. These results suggest that brief viewing of positive images enhances activity in the angular gyrus and MPFC, which results in facilitation of understanding solutions to insight problems.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
ID Code:36900


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