Elec­tric hats could spark cre­ativ­ity

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - IAN JOHN­STON

PASS­ING an elec­tric cur­rent through the brain can help peo­ple be more creative, ac­cord­ing to new re­search.

Sci­en­tists found that sup­press­ing an area of the brain in­volved in think­ing and rea­son­ing helped peo­ple to “think out­side the box” when try­ing to solve com­pli­cated prob­lems.

While the re­search sug­gests peo­ple could one day wear an elec­tri­cally charged hat to make them smarter, the sci­en­tists stressed this was not pos­si­ble now and cau­tioned against claims by com­pa­nies sell­ing such de­vices.

In the study, 60 peo­ple, all right-handed and aged be­tween 18 and 34, were asked to solve “match­stick prob­lems” af­ter hav­ing elec­tric­ity passed through the brain area in one di­rec­tion, which stim­u­lated it, or the op­po­site di­rec­tion, which sup­pressed it, or with­out hav­ing any elec­tric­ity at all.

One of the re­searchers, Dr Caro­line Di Bernardi Luft, of Queen Mary, Univer­sity of Lon­don, said: “We solve prob­lems by ap­ply­ing rules we learn from ex­pe­ri­ence, and the DLPFC plays a key role in au­tomat­ing this process.” – The In­de­pen­dent

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