English
 
Help Privacy Policy Disclaimer
  Advanced SearchBrowse

Item

ITEM ACTIONSEXPORT

Released

Journal Article

New insights into insight: Neurophysiological correlates of the difference between the intrinsic “aha” and the extrinsic “oh yes” moment

MPS-Authors
There are no MPG-Authors in the publication available
External Resource
No external resources are shared
Fulltext (restricted access)
There are currently no full texts shared for your IP range.
Fulltext (public)
There are no public fulltexts stored in PuRe
Supplementary Material (public)
There is no public supplementary material available
Citation

Rothmaler, K., Nigbur, R., & Ivanova, G. (2017). New insights into insight: Neurophysiological correlates of the difference between the intrinsic “aha” and the extrinsic “oh yes” moment. Neuropsychologia, 95, 204-214. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2016.12.017.


Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000B-22FF-0
Abstract
Insight refers to a situation in which a problem solver immediately changes his understanding of a problem situation. This representational change can either be triggered by external stimuli, like a hint or the solution itself, or by internal solution attempts. In the present paper, the differences and similarities between these two phenomena, namely “extrinsic” and “intrinsic” insight, are examined. To this end, electroencephalogram (EEG) is recorded while subjects either recognize or generate solutions to German verbal compound remote associate problems (CRA). Based on previous studies, we compare the alpha power prior to insightful solution recognition with the alpha power prior to insightful solution generation. Results show that intrinsic insights are preceded by an increase in alpha power at right parietal electrodes, while extrinsic insights are preceded by a respective decrease. These results can be interpreted in two ways. In consistency with other studies, the increase in alpha power before intrinsic insights can be interpreted as an increased internal focus of attention. Accordingly, the decrease in alpha power before extrinsic insights may be associated with a more externally oriented focus of attention. Alternatively, the increase in alpha power prior to intrinsic insights can be interpreted as an active inhibition of solution-related information, while the alpha power decrease prior to extrinsic insights may reflect its activation. Regardless of the interpretation, the results provide strong evidence that extrinsic and intrinsic insight differ on the behavioral as well as the neurophysiological level.