Kathryn Friedlander explores the ‘kick’ we get from cracking a really good cryptic crossword clue.
A number of stories in the press earlier this year reported work carried out in Vienna and London on solving puzzles in a brain scanner. The study suggested that solving a clue to a puzzle can trigger a highly rewarding ‘Aha!’ (or ‘Eureka!’) insight moment, which releases dopamine into the brain. This is the reward chemical associated with daily activities such as eating, winning money … and having sex. This led to headlines promising that cryptic crosswords were ‘better than sex’… but what’s the reality behind the hype?
Gill Hill explains why investigating creative problem solving is sometimes – quite literally – child’s play.
People might be surprised to hear that the games they played as children can help scientists to explain how people think. For example, researchers have recently used rock, paper scissors as a model for decision making. Furthermore, chess is seen as a pursuit for ‘thinkers’ around the world, and we have consequently seen lots of research exploring psychological processes whilst people play.
It’s a month now since the Canterbury conference ended, but we are all still benefiting from the fresh perspectives it has brought to our understanding of creativity. With a huge range of topics featured in talks and posters, this was a truly interdisciplinary and international conference. Continue reading →
Want to help improve medical education? Fancy the opportunity to win a £40 Amazon voucher? Want to boost our donation to Médecins Sans Frontières /Doctors Without Borders (MSF)? Know any doctors who could help? Paige Vanleer explains what to do …
I’m Paige Vanleer, and I’m currently engaged in an MSc project at the University of Buckingham which aims to help us ensure that the process of medical education is as effective as possible. As part of my research, I’ve launched a survey comprising a series of questions about the professional status, medical training and thinking styles of trainee and qualified doctors, and I’m still looking for more participants before it closes. Do you, or anyone you know, qualify for the survey? Continue reading →
The challenge was set by MK Innovates to provide exciting and interactive activities that engage young people – and especially girls – from Milton Keynes and the surrounding area with science. As always, the CREATE team were keen to get in on the act and we’ve identified some core aspects of our research to showcase at the event.