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Default Mode Network & Creativity

A review (with some additional syntheses and hypotheses) of the Italian Academy at Columbia University's Symposium: "The Default Mode Network and its role in aesthetics and creativity," Feb. 6 - 7, 2014
by

Christina Bosch

on 24 September 2014

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Transcript of Default Mode Network & Creativity

I had to downregulate my inhibitions to make this project! So be skeptical of my &

I have yet to verify how methodologically sound all these studies are, or close-read all of them

This work is new, complex, and changing -- and there is a lot more to say!
Implications for ...

peer-to-peer learning?
edu as business?
what teachers do with social learning analytics?
Novel use of an object
Fluency, flexibility, & originality

Remote Association test (test of insight)
Sleeping, bean, trash: ???

Expert Assessment
peers within the domain; self-assessment

Rorschach Test

fMRI: Think of a novel design for a pen
Affect & attention (appraisal of the environment based on past personal experience)

Memory, Prospection, Introspection

Theory of mind, social perspective taking

Self-regulation & self-efficacy

Navigation!

Engagement with narrative fiction

Online environments: "selfies," cyber bullying, social learning

Expression ("I put a lot of myself into this work")

"Losing yourself in something," "flow" & ZPD

Good design ("Design Rationale" = reasoning behind improvements in the designer's work, cooperation with stakeholders)

The Two Truths in Buddism
Doppelganger
or
ghost networks
:
"negative" imprint: traces
"work behind the scenes": may influence prospective task-dependent network recruitment and related behavioral output
RSNs are "like a tennis player waiting for the service of his opponent" (Deco & Corbetta, 2011)
DMN can be coupled with the FP control network to support goal-oriented cognition








Control network may serve to integrate information across DMN and attentional networks
(Spreng)
Default Mode Network & Creativity
DMN Structure & Functional Implications
DMN and Depression
Increased activation in the limbic system
couples with abberant activation in DMN
(Sheline)

Dorsal Nexus = area where DMN, affective, and cognitive control networks intersect
What is the DMN?
spontaneous, intrinsic, task-negative, task-unrelated, "noise"
consume most of the brain's energy
vs. Task-Positive Networks
research centered on "making the brain do things" >>> research focused on the things the brain is doing all the time (Raischle)
from "mind wandering" as the state of "brutes" (William James) to "meditative"
What is Creativity?
Evolution of the DMN
Toggling
Connections to Education?
assessments in context
"pacing"


school discipline
support for agile processes?
... and self discipline

digital media/online environments:
is aesthetic design like art - moving?
external focus (marathon gaming) vs reflection (consolidation) - &toggling

social learning
peer interaction and collaboration
distributed intelligence

LD testing in schools
“When I am, as it were,
completely
myself
, entirely
alone
,
and of good
cheer
—say,
traveling in a carriage, or walking
after a good meal, or during the night when I cannot sleep;
it is on such occasions
that my
ideas flow
best and most abundantly. Whence and how they come,
I know not;
nor can I force them
.
Those ideas that
please
me
I retain in
memory

and, provided I am
not disturbed
,
my subject
enlarges
itself,
becomes methodized and defined,
and whole, though it be long,
stands almost complete and finished in my mind
…What a
delight
this is,
I cannot tell!”
– Mozart
DMN and social
appraisal
Aesthetic Experiences
Limitations

A functional & anatomical network of brain regions that are active when an individual is "at rest", and deactivated during "active" tasks
NOVEL + USEFUL
not domain specific
Resting State Networks
DMN Anatomy & Implications
Measures - Divergent thinking (Guilford, Torrance, 1950s)
Challenges:

Neurophrenology, hemisphere mythology
Reliable & valid measures in both the construct & science
Need for "triangulation" vs. systems approach

Many stages, processes, cognitive components within "creativity":
Deliberate Spontaneous
Cog. Emotional
Connections to DMN
Creativity encompasses a 4 part process (Jung)
preparation
10 years rule - how do we create life-long learners that have honed skills?
incubation

how do we downgrade inhibitory cognitive control to let ideas flow?
illumination
unconscious >>> conscious (eureka moment) -- requires what in the environment?
verification
persistence, interpersonal and social skills, executive functioning
Implications (and some creative connections):
(and education research)
2 types of thought
(Cosmides & Tooby, in Jung)
:
specialized/efficient
- rule-based problem solving, rapid and accurate, for frequent problems (deductive reasoning, "intelligence")
generalized/flexible

- situation-based improvisation, novel + useful (creativity, induction, art)
Why?
Unique to humans:
- mental scene construction
- imagination replaces trial and error

How? Tethering Hypothesis
(Buckner & Krienen)
Entrance into and maintenance of
flow
state hinges upon contextual and intrapersonal conditions that are mediated by recurrent assessments -- conducted by the TPN and DMN networks -- of the self, the task, and the environment.
So how do we support toggling in tasks?
How could this relate to ZPD?
How do we take a systems thinking vs reductionist approach to task design?
Social acceptance & self-esteem
(Kelley)
Do we [need to] consider these processes in instructional design, teacher training?
Beilock's work with working memory, writing, stereotype threat

Episodic depression may allow for creative breaks (Plath, Bethoven, Woolf, Keruoac, etc.) and extraordinary reflections on pain (incl. visceral)
Increased focus on self interferes with task performance.

What are the implications for learners with these types of psychological challenges?
Is there a separate emotional contribution to aesthetic response above and beyond sensory driven pleasure?

How do we disentangle subjective or personal aspects of a response from responses automatically triggered by the stimulus ?
images vs. art & VARIABILITY
in real-world images, shared meanings lead to shared preferences
Affect-based variability in perception (?)

Coactivation of DMN with sensory pathways is rare - but is happening here!
"Perhaps what we are seeing here is the outline of a motivational system for guiding attention, learning and memory in the absence of a specific reinforcement" (Vessel)
"The Infovor" & appraisal-based theories of emotions (awe, wonder, curiosity) specifically tied to knowledge seeking and acquisition
Representation
Engagement
Design
are shared preferences because of color, shapes, etc - or associations?
what does that mean for cultural homogeneity in educational institutions?

what does that mean for the types of images we include as alternative representations?
"Great art" is art that evokes an emotional response
What are the advantages
and limitations, based on this
work, of utilizing art as a means
of representation, expression,
and/or engagement?
Edward Vessel
Sources:
Video of most presentations referenced here can be found on:
http://vimeo.com/italianacademy/videos

And here are the websites of the referenced researchers, most of which include access to relevant publications:

Dr. Randy Buckner (http://dms.hms.harvard.edu/neuroscience/fac/Buckner.php)

Dr. Rex Jung (http://www.rexjung.com/)

Dr. R. Nathan Spreng (http://lbc.human.cornell.edu/Home.html)

Dr. Yvette Sheline (http://www.psychiatry.wustl.edu/Faculty/FacultyDetails?ID=611)

Dr. Bill Kelley (http://dartmouth.edu/pbs/people/william-michael-kelley)

Dr. Daniel S. Marguilles (https://www.cbs.mpg.de/staff/margulies-10881)

Dr. Felicity Callard (https://www.dur.ac.uk/research/directory/staff/?id=10392)

Dr. Edward A. Vessel (http://www.cns.nyu.edu/~vessel/)

Raichle, M. E., & Snyder, A. Z. (2007). A default mode of brain function: A brief history of an evolving idea. NeuroImage, 37(4), 1083–1090.

Deco, G., & Corbetta, M. (2011). The dynamical balance of the brain at rest. The Neuroscientist, 17(1), 107-123.

Rosazza, C., & Minati, L. (2011). Resting-state brain networks: literature review and clinical applications. Neurological Sciences, 32(5), 773-785.


By Christina Anderson Bosch

send comments and questions to
cabosch85@gmail.com
Full transcript