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People got lost in solving a set of similar problems
Huang, Furong1; Zhao, Qingbai2; Zhou, Zhijin2; Luo, Jing3,4
First AuthorFurong Huang
2019-02-01
Source PublicationNEUROIMAGE
Correspondent Emailzqbznr@mail.ccnu.edu.cn ; zhouzj@mail.ccnu.edu.cn ; luoj@psych.ac.cn
ISSN1053-8119
SubtypeArticle
Volume186Pages:192-199
Contribution Rank4
Abstract

A mental set generally refers to the human brain's tendency to persist with a familiar solution and stubbornly ignore alternatives. However, if a familiar solution is unable to solve a problem similar to a previous problem, does it continue to hinder alternative solutions, and if so, how and why? To answer these questions, a Chinese character decomposition task was adopted in this study. Participants were asked to perform a practice problem that could be solved by a familiar loose chunk decomposition (LCD) solution followed by a test problem that was similar to the practice problem but could only be solved by an unfamiliar tight chunk decomposition (TCD) solution or were asked to repeatedly perform 3-5 practice problems followed by a test problem; the former is the base-set condition, and the latter is the enhanced-set condition. The results showed that the test problem recruited more activation of the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), middle occipital cortex (MOG), superior parietal lobule (SPL) and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) than the practice problem in the latter operation and verification stage, but almost equal activation of the dACC occurred in the early exploration stage. This likely implied that people did not think that the familiar but currently invalid LCD solution could not be used to solve the test problem; thus, it continuously competed for attention with the unfamiliar TCD solution, which required more executive control to suppress. Moreover, compared with the base-set condition, the test problem in the enhanced-set condition recruited greater activations of the IFG, SPL and dACC in the latter verification stage but less activations of regions in the left IFG and MOG in the early exploration stage. These results revealed that people less actively explored and had to work harder to operate the unfamiliar TCD solution, particularly to resolve competition from the familiar but currently invalid LCD solution. In conclusion, people lost the ability to identify errors in the familiar but currently invalid solution, which in turn decreased the exploration efforts and increased the processing demands associated with alternative solutions in the form of attentional bias and competition. This finding broadly explains the dilemma of creative problem solving.

KeywordMental Set Interference Control Cognitive Inertness Attentional Bias Competetion
DOI10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.10.063
Indexed BySCI
Language英语
Funding ProjectCapacity Building for Sci-Tech Innovation - Fundamental Scientific Research Funds, China[025-185305000] ; National Natural Science Foundation of China, China[31671124] ; National Natural Science Foundation of China, China[31700956] ; National Natural Science Foundation of China, China[31871093] ; National Natural Science Foundation of China, China[31860278] ; National Natural Science Foundation of China, China[31471000] ; China Postdoctoral Science Foundation, China[2018M632598] ; China Postdoctoral Science Foundation, China[2018T110657] ; Natural Science Foundation of Jiangxi, China[20181BAB214010] ; Beijing Municipal Commission of Education, China[TJSH20161002801]
WOS Research AreaNeurosciences & Neurology ; Radiology, Nuclear Medicine & Medical Imaging
WOS SubjectNeurosciences ; Neuroimaging ; Radiology, Nuclear Medicine & Medical Imaging
WOS IDWOS:000455968400019
PublisherACADEMIC PRESS INC ELSEVIER SCIENCE
WOS KeywordChunk Decomposition ; Mental Set ; Repetition Suppression ; Prefrontal Cortex ; Cognitive Control ; Insight ; Mechanism ; Dynamics ; Appropriateness ; Interference
Citation statistics
Document Type期刊论文
Identifierhttp://ir.psych.ac.cn/handle/311026/28096
Collection中国科学院心理健康重点实验室
Corresponding AuthorZhao, Qingbai; Zhou, Zhijin; Luo, Jing
Affiliation1.Jiangxi Normal Univ, Sch Psychol, Nanchang 330022, Jiangxi, Peoples R China
2.Cent China Normal Univ, Sch Psychol, Wuhan 430079, Hubei, Peoples R China
3.Capital Normal Univ, Sch Psychol, Beijing 100048, Peoples R China
4.Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Psychol, Key Lab Mental Hlth, Beijing 100101, Peoples R China
Corresponding Author AffilicationKey Laboratory of Mental Health, CAS
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Huang, Furong,Zhao, Qingbai,Zhou, Zhijin,et al. People got lost in solving a set of similar problems[J]. NEUROIMAGE,2019,186:192-199.
APA Huang, Furong,Zhao, Qingbai,Zhou, Zhijin,&Luo, Jing.(2019).People got lost in solving a set of similar problems.NEUROIMAGE,186,192-199.
MLA Huang, Furong,et al."People got lost in solving a set of similar problems".NEUROIMAGE 186(2019):192-199.
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