What is it about?

“Eureka!” moments in Science, like seeing how the structure of an atom parallels the structure of the solar system, often result from the process of reasoning by analogy. Electrically stimulating the frontal most region of the brain, the frontopolar cortex, can enhance analogical reasoning.

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Why is it important?

The frontopolar cortex (FPC) is a relatively poorly understood region of the brain, but recent studies have shown it to play a vital role in integrating information coming in from the outside world with information generated by various other regions of the brain. We stimulated the FPC electrically to see if its integrative role could be enhanced to improve performance on a challenging test of analogical reasoning ability. By better understanding the FPC’s function and how it might enhanced, we can in turn better understand the process by which we analogize to reach insightful solutions to difficult problems.

Perspectives

Being part of this study and working on this publication changed my life. I first heard about transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in an episode of Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman years before I ever thought I would ever use it and then finally getting to use it to understand the process of creative problem solving was very surreal. I now know that what I want to do with the rest of my life is explore the subtleties of how our brains work to produce humanity’s greatest intellectual achievements.

Ali Kazmi

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This page is a summary of: High‐Definition Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Over the Left Frontopolar Cortex Promotes Analogical Reasoning, Mind Brain and Education, June 2022, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/mbe.12325.
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