Friday, December 10, 2010

Watch a little Louis CK before tackling that puzzle: humor facilitates solving word puzzles.

Searching the Brain for the Spark of Creative Problem-Solving -

New SAT prep material?

In a just completed study, researchers at Northwestern University found that people were more likely to solve word puzzles with sudden insight when they were amused, having just seen a short comedy routine.

“What we think is happening,” said Mark Beeman, a neuroscientist who conducted the study with Karuna Subramaniam, a graduate student, “is that the humor, this positive mood, is lowering the brain’s threshold for detecting weaker or more remote connections” to solve puzzles.
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