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Feeling the Insight: Uncovering Somatic Markers of the "aha" Experience
Shen, Wangbing1,2; Tong, Yu3; Yuan, Yuan4; Zhan, Huijia5; Liu, Chang6,7; Luo, Jing8,9; Cai, Houde6,7; Yuan Yuan; Chang Liu; Jing Luo
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Whether internal insight can be recognized by experiencing (somatic feeling) remains an unexplored problem. This study investigated the issue by examining potential somatic markers of the "aha" experience occurring at the moment of sudden insight. Participants were required to solve a set of compound remote associates (CRA) problems and were simultaneously monitored via electrodermal and cardiovascular recordings. The "aha"-related psychological components and somatic markers were determined by contrasting insightful solutions with non-insightful solutions. Results showed that the "aha" experience was an amalgam entailing positive affects and approached cognition accompanied by a greater mean skin conductance response (mSCR) amplitude and a marginally accelerated heart rate than the "no-aha" one. These results confirm and extend findings of the multidimensionality of the "aha" feeling and offer the first direct evidence of somatic markers, particularly an electrodermal signature of an "aha" feeling, which suggests a sudden insight could likely be experienced by individuals' external soma.

Keyword"aha" experience Creative insight Somatic marker Skin conductance response
Indexed BySSCI
Funding OrganizationNational Natural Science Foundation of China(31500870 ; fourth high-level personnel training project in Jiangsu province ; Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities(2017B14514) ; Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu College of China(17KJB90002) ; Philosophical and Social Science Foundation of Jiangsu Colleges of China(2017SJB0649) ; Research Start-up Fund in Nanjing Normal University of Special Education ; Research Innovation Program for College Graduates of Jiangsu Province(KYLX15_0770) ; 31271079)
WOS Research AreaPsychology
WOS SubjectPsychology, Clinical
WOS IDWOS:000428424200002
WOS HeadingsSocial Sciences
Citation statistics
Cited Times:2[WOS]   [WOS Record]     [Related Records in WOS]
Document Type期刊论文
Corresponding AuthorYuan Yuan; Chang Liu; Jing Luo
Affiliation1.Hohai Univ, Sch Publ Adm, Nanjing, Jiangsu, Peoples R China
2.Hohai Univ, Sch Business, Nanjing, Jiangsu, Peoples R China
3.Jilin Normal Univ, Dept Psychol, Siping, Peoples R China
4.Nanjing Normal Univ Special Educ, Sch Rehabil Sci, 1 Shennong Rd, Nanjing 210038, Jiangsu, Peoples R China
5.Zhejiang Univ, Interdisciplinary Inst Neurosci & Technol, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, Peoples R China
6.Nanjing Normal Univ, Sch Psychol, 122 Ninghai Rd, Nanjing 210097, Jiangsu, Peoples R China
7.Nanjing Normal Univ, Lab Cognit Neurosci, 122 Ninghai Rd, Nanjing 210097, Jiangsu, Peoples R China
8.Capital Normal Univ, Dept Psychol, Beijing Key Lab Learning & Cognit, Beijing 100191, Peoples R China
9.Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Psychol, Key Lab Mental Hlth, Beijing, Peoples R China
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Shen, Wangbing,Tong, Yu,Yuan, Yuan,et al. Feeling the Insight: Uncovering Somatic Markers of the "aha" Experience[J]. APPLIED PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGY AND BIOFEEDBACK,2018,43(1):13-21.
APA Shen, Wangbing.,Tong, Yu.,Yuan, Yuan.,Zhan, Huijia.,Liu, Chang.,...&Jing Luo.(2018).Feeling the Insight: Uncovering Somatic Markers of the "aha" Experience.APPLIED PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGY AND BIOFEEDBACK,43(1),13-21.
MLA Shen, Wangbing,et al."Feeling the Insight: Uncovering Somatic Markers of the "aha" Experience".APPLIED PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGY AND BIOFEEDBACK 43.1(2018):13-21.
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