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Hemispheric alpha asymmetry and self-rated originality of ideas

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The generation of highly original ideas in divergent thinking tasks has been found to be associated with task-related changes in the alpha band. The goal of the current study was to determine if exposure to brainwave entrainment (BWE) at the alpha centre frequency before and during performance of a divergent thinking task would result in increases in task-related, event-related synchrony and the production of more highly original ideas. We found that alpha entrainment interfered with the oscillatory dynamics associated with divergent thinking such that only the control group showed greater right hemispheric engagement. Furthermore, the control group showed greater self-rated originality. These findings provide confirmation of the importance of hemispheric asymmetry in alpha power to successful divergent thinking and indicate that refinements are required in order for BWE to be used effectively to improve divergent thinking performance.
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Keywords: Alpha; Brainwave entrainment; Divergent thinking; Hemispheric asymmetry

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Center for Advanced Study of Language, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA 2: Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA 3: Independent researcher, 4: Department of Psychology, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA 5: Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

Publication date: November 2, 2015

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