Dual N-back impairs creativity/lateral thinking?

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john21...@gmail.com

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Jan 21, 2009, 10:43:24 AM1/21/09
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I've done the dual n-back task avidly for over a month and while I
find it makes me mentally sharper, that comes a high cost - the loss
of creativity and lateral thinking. In fact, I experience what is
called as severe directed attention fatigue (see www.troutfoot.com/attn/dafintro.html).

I was wondering if others have noticed a significant loss in their
creativity and ability to generate new ideas from doing dual n-back
training or if this is unique to just me? Any detailed reports of
your experiences would be appreciated; at first I was very positive
about doing the training but now I don't know if it's really worth it
considering to maintain the effects I need to do booster sessions and
even short booster sessions severely impair creativity to the point
that one becomes very mentally flat, single-minded, and I'd even say
zombie-ish.

Thanks all and best of luck.

Ashirgo

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Jan 21, 2009, 11:14:18 AM1/21/09
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I practise the dual n-back since October and I am still creative, as I
hope.

I find myself even more sociable, easy-going and talkative than ever
before!

I hope, though, you will get more of reliable feedback from the
community. If some others share that problem, they will certainly pop
up to tell this.

Regards, Ash

chinmi04

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Jan 21, 2009, 12:04:23 PM1/21/09
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just the opposite! it feels like i'm more creative-productive than
ever!

in fact, just last week I came up with a revolutionary idea that I
thought could win me the Nobel Prize!

I was wrong, but still :D

Paul

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Jan 21, 2009, 12:13:46 PM1/21/09
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IANAD (I am not a doctor) but some fatigue can be caused by a lack of certain nutrients in the diet, inadequate sleep or food allergies. Have you tried adjusting your diet (more greens)?

biped

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Jan 21, 2009, 2:06:15 PM1/21/09
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I have been doing it for a couple of months, off and on, and I haven't
noticed any negative effects on creativity. In fact, I would say that
my creativity has increased somewhat, but that could be a result of
other things I've started doing recently.

Regarding fatigue though, I will say that maintaining maximal
attention for as long as possible while doing BW can be really
mentally fatiguing, since I tend to sustain a higher level of
concentration for a longer period of time than doing anything else. If
I weren't healthy and getting plenty of sleep, I could see how I might
not recover very quickly and might feel fatigued for a long time
afterwards, especially if I was borderline fatigued already. Getting
fatigued is probably normal if you do it for long enough, since it's
an EXTREMELY demanding task, so the question is why you're not
recovering quickly enough and why you get fatigued more quickly than
you should when you don't do it for very long. I tend to still feel
refreshed afterward if I felt good when I started and I did a standard
block of 20 runs whereas doing more than 20 runs will sometimes leave
me more fatigued, depending on how fatigued I was initially and how
much more than 20 I did. Even then though, I recover very quickly
afterward.

Did you have any tendencies for this sort of fatigue before starting
BW? You mentioned attention fatigue and also creativity deficits. What
are the symptoms you've experienced regarding creativity deficits? Do
you have any quasi-objective way of testing yourself (like a brain
game that requires creative thinking) that you could do both now while
doing BW and after taking a break from BW?

You also might try BW with feedback enabled or disabled, the opposite
of what you've been doing, and see if that makes a difference. They
seem to me to exercise different aspects of attention.

SemiDecent

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Jan 21, 2009, 4:56:26 PM1/21/09
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I can't really relate to that. It just helps me focus and organize any
creative thoughts I happen to come by.
If you're overtraining that could be the issue.

On Jan 21, 3:43 pm, "john21012...@gmail.com" <john21012...@gmail.com>
wrote:

putumayo

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Jan 22, 2009, 10:04:41 AM1/22/09
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Hey man! That's very weird! I can tell you my story: I've been doing
dual n back for three months and one of the biggest bonus that I have
obtainet thanks to the training is the creativity!!! Thanks to dual n
back you can hold simultaneously a lot of possible scenarios (you know
- holding the n back square and letter) and this is very important in
creative thinking! Like others I feel more confident sociable and
better in my studies (lately I've done my exam in 6 minutes (sic!)).
So train dual and do a 2 days break in your trening and it will be
fine!

putumayo

john21...@gmail.com

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Jan 22, 2009, 10:06:49 AM1/22/09
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Thanks for your reply Biped.

I did not have any attentional fatigue or condition, as far as I'm
aware, that would cause such severe attentional fatigue prior to
starting dual n-back training. As soon as I do even a few, like 2/3/4
runs on dual n-back, I can feel myself getting extremely focused and
also starting to feel more fatigued. It seems like there's a tradeoff
in that for having higher Gf (getting more focused), I get much more
tired, and the fatigue if it's great enough which it usually is, then
actually impairs my thinking.

If anyone out there knows of any task that measures creativity, I
would love to test myself out using it before and after doing a few
dual n-back runs to measure objectively if my creativity is less. I
happen to feel that the attentional fatigue is severe enough that it
does worsen my ability to think laterally and come up with new
ideas.

Thanks again guys, all your responses are appreciated, I'm sure that
the Directed Attention Fatigue (DAF) that this task causes does have
negative and somewhat counterproductive effects on cognition. See
again that link I put up in my first post to start this thread to
learn more about DAF.

chinmi04

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Jan 22, 2009, 11:50:10 AM1/22/09
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this is something i have noticed as well...

normally i'm always always always one of the last persons to finish an
exam, but yesterday i was one of the first! this has never happened to
me before.

I won't attribute this to dual n back yet, there's no way to know, but
really this has never happened to me before and i was VERY surprised.

silas

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Jan 23, 2009, 12:47:29 PM1/23/09
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You seem to be talking about two utterly different modes of thinking.
Many of us with greater aptitudes in lateral/creative thinking are
subject to a certain
predisposition against conventional logical/linear approaches. Either
due to our native creative
abilities, a weakness in the mainstream method, or a combination of
both, we're predisposed
to fashioning alternative methods, and any degree of success with them
reinforces that mode.

Fortunately for creatives, the lateral thinking approach has become
more in demand
with the rise of industries and companies that value "out of the box"
thinking sheerly to stay
competitive.

In not so much a matter of bridging the left and right hemispheres
into an ideal whole as it
is giving both sides room to grow independently and not be at odds
with each other. To either
hemisphere, the other half appears entirely backwards. The creative
side views the logical
side as a person with severe Asperger's syndrome, utterly incapable of
doing what is natural
and intuitive, and perhaps not quite human. The logical side see the
creative side as foolish,
impulsive, and immature. Assigning the right task to either is
essential. It's difficult to train the
right to respect the left, but fortunately, the left can grasp the
significance of the right. I tend
find time limitations and clearly defined zones for employing one side
or the other a relief and
helpful.

On Jan 22, 7:06 am, "john21012...@gmail.com" <john21012...@gmail.com>
wrote:

nback whale

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Jan 23, 2009, 5:31:30 PM1/23/09
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There is some research (see below) on the relationship between latant
inhibition (the unconscious proclivity to "screen out" irrelevant
stimuli from consciousnes) and intelligence / working memory.

The general idea seems to be that

low latent inhibition + poor working memory = schizophrenic
low latent inhibition + good working memory = creative genius
high latent inhibition + poor working memory = obsessive beaurocrat??
high latent inhibition + good working memory = focused performer

http://www.brightsurf.com/news/oct_03/EDU_news_100103_d.php

It seems like dual n-back would increase working memory / fluid
intelligence - while having no impact on latent inhibition (which
presumably - isn't under our control and can't be trained). If this
were true - you would expect folk's latent inhibition to remain steady
- and any increases in working memory would improve their
creativity.

However, of course, it's possible that dual n-back improves both
latent inhbition and working memory - which might have the impact the
original poster is describing.

Then - of course - the interesting question becomes - can you train
latent inhibition - thereby healing schizophenics and creating
geniuses everywhere you go with a flip of your magic latent inhibition
adjustment knob?

polar

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Jan 24, 2009, 8:05:05 AM1/24/09
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nback whale, this idea looks very interesting to me as a psychologist.
We are a bit OT of course, but its very tempting to ascribe
dissociative thinking to poor working memory (low latent inhibition is
obvious here, usually something like 90% of sense-information is
filtered before reaching consciousness). But I think there's very
likely more to schizophrenic kind of disorders than poor working
memory (and low lat. inh.). Nevertheless, it really can be related to
some level (and this means usable to some level for healing). Really
interesting idea.

LSaul

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Jan 24, 2009, 2:06:00 PM1/24/09
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I understand what you mean when you say that your creativity is
affected. The dual n-back task itself can be mentally draining. It is
possible that that this fatigue is carrying over into your other tasks
when you are trying to get some creative thought going. I would say
relax, and let your mind have time to recuperate.

Recently I started eating some healthier foods which I found in the
"ultramind" guidebook. I hope this will provide some healing benefits
to my body and brain, which in turn will increase my energy and allow
even more focus. I have the guidebook which is relatively small, but
outlines how you would benefit from changes in your diet. I found a
link to purchase the full book for $12.95 here:
http://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/mark-hyman/the-ultramind-solution/_/R-400000000000000106820
I also have the companion guidebook, but can no longer find the link.
If you would like the book send me an email, and I will respond.

I felt that the dual n-back task provided me with a certain level of
concentration, which may be detrimental if you don't know how to focus
your mind and thought process. Stop trying to be so creative
consciously and just allow your mind to wander. This comes back to the
left brain right brain conundrum which silas brought up. You described
it well. It is a good outline for showing that it's up to the
individual to determine how they will cope with the different modes of
thought. Some people are never able to bridge the gap, living there
entire lives almost wholly in one mode. There are ways to go about
training your mind, like everything else we hope to do here,
creativity and logic can be fostered.

silas

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Jan 25, 2009, 7:16:43 AM1/25/09
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Without sounding too right brain dominant here, I wish to emphasize
that if you make the
leap over to the other side -the truly brilliant side- you may be
ridiculed by your left brain dominant
friends and associates. I've lived in Germany, Japan, England, and
America, with intellectuals from
each, and can testify to the rigid strictures of conventionally
defined IQ. I'm a Mensan, but feel horrible
for not committing to right or left. I expect that others will suffer
the same sort of compromised abilities,
but in truth, as I experience it, the left brain is a bleedin' dolt in
its average functions, while the right brain
can reach the sublime in all its functions. Depression is always
complex. Happiness is embarrassingly simple.
I could tease a bit, but an an IQ of 160 can still yield a less than
impressive human experience, while an
emotionally sophisticated being with high conventionally defined IQ is
always a notable being. High IQs are a
testament to the WAIS and Stanford Benet's repeatability. A loving
gesture and a brilliant drawing are of considerably
more value.

On Jan 24, 11:06 am, LSaul <saulpaughll...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I understand what you mean when you say that your creativity is
> affected. The dual n-back task itself can be mentally draining. It is
> possible that that this fatigue is carrying over into your other tasks
> when you are trying to get some creative thought going. I would say
> relax, and let your mind have time to recuperate.
>
> Recently I started eating some healthier foods which I found in the
> "ultramind" guidebook. I hope this will provide some healing benefits
> to my body and brain, which in turn will increase my energy and allow
> even more focus. I have the guidebook which is relatively small, but
> outlines how you would benefit from changes in your diet. I found a
> link to purchase the full book for $12.95 here:http://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/mark-hyman/the-ultramind-solution/_/...

nback whale

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Jan 25, 2009, 12:43:46 PM1/25/09
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Response to polar.

Yeah - the secret fantasy here (which I don't have the coding or
detailed knowledge of the latent inhibition task used in the
experiment to implement) would be to see if latent inhibition could be
trained. If we didn't think fluid intelligence could be trained (but
this very project seems to be indicating that it can) - you can't help
but wonder if the same holds true for latent inhibition.

That "hook" - of a pair of programs that (1) increase fluid
intelligence and (2) lower latent inhibition, used in concert to
increase creativity (argued with reference to the Harvard study) -
seems very "marketable" (to me at least).

By marketable - I mean - sufficiently interesting to justify the
quanity of work needed for a group like this to...

(1) research the structure of the latent inhibition task used in the
experiment
(2) code it as a task that a group like this might use
(3) track their findings (with reference to the latent inhibition task
alone and also in concert with folks training on the dual n-back
task).

I have such enormous respect for the folks building this software /
creating this group / participating in this project - but
unfortunately - have no coding skills. I do have access to a good
university library and some decent graduate experience in cognition
research / experimental design.

If there's any interest out there - I could certainly start working on
a lit review of latent inhibition tasks. Any interest, experts,
thoughts, suggestions out there?

Paul

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Jan 25, 2009, 12:50:49 PM1/25/09
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On Sun, Jan 25, 2009 at 9:43 AM, nback whale <meldawn...@gmail.com> wrote:

If there's any interest out there - I could certainly start working on
a lit review of latent inhibition tasks.  Any interest, experts,
thoughts, suggestions out there?


If the task had some research behind it and could be reduced to a well-defined computer keyboard/mouse interface with simple graphics, text and sound, I would definitely be willing to code up a test version.

Paul

nback whale

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Jan 25, 2009, 2:06:58 PM1/25/09
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Okay Paul - you're on.

The academic articles on latent inhibition aren't making much sense to
me yet - so I'm off to the library to pick up two texts.

Let's see what we can figure out.

polar

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Jan 25, 2009, 3:09:22 PM1/25/09
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nbackwhale, that's fine if you want to do some library research about
latent inhibition, I've never read about it too much. But, I know
there is one thing already working as a filter in human perception -
its name is attention :) (at least the most popular theory says so).
And here I think the dual-n-back is doing the job already, because you
must learn to focus attention 100% (i. e., inhibit your surrounding
and distracting thoughts) to do it efectively. I even heard some
people saying that n-back helped them in attention deficit disorder...
So the software candidate is already here, and the main thing is, we
can use its benefits right now. More research is definitely on its way
(Jaeggi continues, and me and my tutor will try to replicate basic
research starting next month).

negatron

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Jan 25, 2009, 3:41:59 PM1/25/09
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On Jan 25, 3:09 pm, polar <pol...@gmail.com> wrote:
>I even heard some people saying that n-back helped them in attention deficit disorder...

I believe low working memory is, if not the cause, a large part of the
disorder. Working memory training without doubt improves focus, but
this isn't another method of action, a higher working memory prevents
distractions from interrupting your train of thought.

Bobby Arnold

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Jan 25, 2009, 5:39:24 PM1/25/09
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On Sun, Jan 25, 2009 at 12:43 PM, nback whale <meldawn...@gmail.com> wrote:

Response to polar.

Yeah - the secret fantasy here (which I don't have the coding or
detailed knowledge of the latent inhibition task used in the
experiment to implement) would be to see if latent inhibition could be
trained.  If we didn't think fluid intelligence could be trained (but
this very project seems to be indicating that it can) - you can't help
but wonder if the same holds true for latent inhibition.

I'm quite sure that lowering or training latent inhibition is possible - and while I suspect a software solution could aid in this task, I think the most optimal method towards this end currently is through meditation. Meditation - specifically any "mindfulness" based meditation such as Vipassana or Shamatha  -  train the mind to closely observe your immediate sensate experience. This improves concentration and I suspect also would serve to lower latent inhibition - as the practice over time will make you more sensitive and tuned into the myriad of sensory phenomena that the average person normally filters out.   Some of you might scoff at this as hippy-dippy nonsense, but I encourage you to just google "meditation" and "neuroplasticity" or "cortex". Several studies have shown - and these studies seem to be coming out all the time recently, confirming or improving upon these findings -  that long term meditators show a thickening in the cortex in areas related to attention and sensory processing. See:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn8317

Moreover I've also read that while most people's brains shrink as they age, this is not the case for long-term meditators - their brains seem to retain size/mass through the aging process. If anyone is interested in this sort of thing there are several books I could recommend - which I'll refrain from doing here at the risk of appearing like some sort of meditation proselytzer :)   Personally I think the combination of meditation and the dual n-back exercise might very well suss out the creative genius in all of us :)




Paul

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Jan 25, 2009, 5:48:55 PM1/25/09
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I have found the book "Mindfulness in Plain English" to be an excellent introduction to the practice of Vipassana meditation. It's also available in PDF and HTML Formats.

MR

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Jan 25, 2009, 7:12:24 PM1/25/09
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Although it's always sounded very gimmicky to me, "image streaming" as
described by Win Wenger seems like it would target latent inhibition.
Some people on here have had experience with the task. It would be
interesting to hear from them.

M

On Jan 25, 2:39 pm, Bobby Arnold <rrarno...@gmail.com> wrote:

Bobby Arnold

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Jan 25, 2009, 8:50:26 PM1/25/09
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On Sun, Jan 25, 2009 at 5:48 PM, Paul <plh...@gmail.com> wrote:
I have found the book "Mindfulness in Plain English" to be an excellent introduction to the practice of Vipassana meditation. It's also available in PDF and HTML Formats.



Agreed Paul, that's an excellent one - and is also  the book that initially spurred my own interest. "The Attention Revolution" by Alan Wallace is good for Shamatha practice:

http://www.amazon.com/Attention-Revolution-Unlocking-Power-Focused/dp/0861712765/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1232934155&sr=8-1

...actually anything by Alan Wallace is pretty fascinating, IMO. He led a year long meditation retreat/study involving some neuroscientists  from UC Davis - they studied these meditators for a year, amassing terabytes of data in an effort to better understand the effect of meditation on the brain. I believe the results of the project ("The Shamatha Project") will be published sometime later this year. There's a lecture in podcast form on the project here:

http://www.sbinstitute.com/LecturesMP3.html


Aditya Prasad

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Jan 26, 2009, 2:02:32 AM1/26/09
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If anyone is interested in more details about the Shamatha Project,
hopefully I can be of some help. I'm friends with several of the
participants, have participated in a short Wallace retreat, and
modeled my own 3 month stay at a Tibetan Buddhist monastery after the
Project (which unfortunately, due to several issues, was also 3 months
instead of the originally-intended year).

In my experience (and in those of others), although top-down
attentional control was significantly improved following retreat,
these gains were quickly lost without continued training. As far as I
can tell, they seem easier to recover than they did to originally
train (although this hypothesis remains to be tested). Luckily, other
benefits of the training have persisted, but they are largely
tangential to the purpose of this group.

Cheers,
A

Benjamano

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Jan 27, 2009, 10:23:53 AM1/27/09
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It seems to me that the DAF article you linked seems more related to
your "directed attention" being pulled all over the place by modern
society - than to the n-back game. However I personally found the n-
back game strangely fatiguing at times - at I mean originally it got
"very" fatiguing after just a few trials. Its just that your forcing
your mind muscle to do something it is not currently structured to
do.

An analogy with leg muscles would be if you never do squats and
suddenly you decide to do a lot of them with weights that are too
heavy - you are going to strain something. My advice then is, just
like your leg muscles - if your mind gets fatigued, don't push on -
rest it instead. Lie down with your eyes closed and "relax your mind"
for a few minutes.

cheers, Ben

Gore Lando

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Jan 30, 2009, 4:39:38 PM1/30/09
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You guys really want to lower latent inhibition?  How about some LSD.

I don't really buy this solid opposition between right-brain and left-brain thinking.

Nabokov composed chess problems ...

nback whale

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Jan 30, 2009, 7:30:22 PM1/30/09
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Oh Gore Lando...

why is that name so strangely appealing anyway? particular when said
slowly...while ruefully shaking one's head...

But - back to lsd - that reminds me - has anyone read- What the
Dormouse Said: How the 60s Counterculture Shaped the Personal
Computer? Am I remembering right when I'm remembering something about
research with giving hallucigenics to very smart college kids - in the
(thwarted) hope that this would increase their creativity?





Gore Lando

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Feb 1, 2009, 4:36:19 AM2/1/09
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Thwarted ,,, in that book, there was an instance when some technology workers (IIRC) were given LSD at work, without many results.

Set and setting.

Gore Lando

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Feb 1, 2009, 4:38:49 AM2/1/09
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Benjamano

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Feb 2, 2009, 7:41:45 PM2/2/09
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There are perhaps different types of creativity. I personally am a
very creative and lateral thinker (to the degree that many people just
think I'm weird) but sometimes lacking in practicality - I often don't
implement my ideas since the next interesting one comes along to
displace the other one. And looking at other people, it seems to me
that people who are very practical and really good at "getting things
done" because they focus on one task, and one known way of getting it
down. Practical people can often be condescending towards "thought
experiments" of new/better ways of doing something.

In terms of my own personal experience, I see this as two ends of a
scale. I see creativity at one end of the scale and practicality at
the other end, and that these are mutually exclusive thought
processes. I consider then consider it in terms of "divergent" and
"convergent" thought. Creativity is often considered "thinking
outside the box" and is divergent thinking that follows many paths -
but to actually get stuff done you, those miriad of paths need to be
culled to focus on a single path that can be practically implemented -
which is the convergent part.

I developed this concept from when my wife my studying graphic design
and helping her with techniques for forced creativity, but I think it
applies to many aspects of life. If you want to develop the lateral
thinking aspect of your creative mind, there is nothing better than
having someone run you through "lateral thinking" scenarios. Get a
friend to look up some of them (don't do it yourself), and run you
through them giving yes/no answers to your questions.

btw, here is my favourite LSD vidclip
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-rWnQphPdQ

cheers, Ben

Benjamano

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Feb 2, 2009, 7:52:40 PM2/2/09
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To follow up my own post and answer the original question directly,
perhaps by requiring/training strong focus BW may be considered to
strengthen convergent thinking at the expense of divergent thinking
(hence creativity). Either this is temporary during the BW training
while the "stretching" of the mind in the convergent direction is
ongoing - and will revert later, or alternatively doing other "lateral
thinking" exercises simultaneously will balance it out.

YMMV, cheers Ben

Paul

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Feb 2, 2009, 8:26:05 PM2/2/09
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On Mon, Feb 2, 2009 at 4:41 PM, Benjamano <google.com@ben.coman.com.au> wrote:

btw, here is my favourite LSD vidclip
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-rWnQphPdQ

cheers, Ben



Thanks for the laugh, that clip just made my day :)


silas

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Feb 3, 2009, 2:20:46 AM2/3/09
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Ben,
Could you specify what some of these lateral thinking scenarios with
yes/no answers might be?
Thanks,
silas

On Feb 2, 5:26 pm, Paul <plh...@gmail.com> wrote:

exigentsky

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Feb 3, 2009, 3:42:08 AM2/3/09
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Just because a task requires strong focus does not mean it hampers
creativity. Even if it strengthens convergent thinking (when desired),
it does not follow that it must weaken divergent thinking. In fact,
creativity is often a result of a focused but uninhibited state of
mind.

Furthermore, if the preliminary results hold and dual-n-back actually
increased Gf, it should actually contribute to creativity for most
people. After all, studies have shown that creativity (according to
standard tests) and IQ are significantly correlated to a certain point
(~120 on most). While both tests are imperfect and incomplete, they do
give a general picture.

I have not felt a decrease in my creativity and am skeptical of the
idea that dual-n-back harms it. If the purported mechanism is
increasing latent inhibition, that would be an even bigger
breakthrough than increasing IQ. The former is still largely
considered immutable.

Ron Williams

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Feb 18, 2009, 5:17:28 PM2/18/09
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Creativity (to me) is the ability to generate a lot of ideas quickly.
Out of quantity comes quality. You can't cull the herd if you don't
have a herd.

Of course a wide general knowledge is essential. You need a lot of
disparate parts if you're going to set your 'creativity' to put them
together in novel ways.

Clearly creativity in this sense should be unrelated to IQ, since IQ
is an indicator of the complexity of ideas that can be entertained by
the individual, and not a primary indicator of the number of facts
held. It might be an indicator of the complexity of the creative
combinations that can be held in mind, though. Thus a person with a
lower IQ might appear to be as creative, although the complexity of
the ideas generated might be lower.

The number '120' as the cutoff point for apparent improvement may be
an artifact of the complexity level of the test method, then.

There are a lot of moving parts to this IQ-creativity 'machine', and
there's a lot more to be said on the subject. Note that I'm not a
professional psychologist, though, so anything I say is only put up
for consideration.

DennisP

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Feb 25, 2009, 9:52:55 AM2/25/09
to Dual N-Back, Brain Training & Intelligence
I haven't done a huge amount of dnb yet but I do have a similar effect
when I do a lot of computer programming. I get very tightly focused,
kinda tense. If I keep it up I eventually crash.

Something I've found that helps a lot is the CDs from openfocus.com. I
first read about it in a book about neurofeedback. I've been using
these off and on for a couple years now, and they are very effective
at spreading out that tight focus, so you're more aware of everything
around you. Then when you do need a tight focus, it's a lot easier,
because the brain cells required aren't already fatigued.

It's also very physically relaxing. Muscles will just suddenly release
that I didn't even know were tense.

The CDs are basically guided mediations, paying attention in turn to
various parts of your body and spaces between them.

-dennis

On Jan 22, 10:06 am, "john21012...@gmail.com" <john21012...@gmail.com>
wrote:
> Thanks for your reply Biped.
>
> I did not have any attentional fatigue or condition, as far as I'm
> aware, that would cause such severe attentional fatigue prior to
> starting dual n-back training. As soon as I do even a few, like 2/3/4
> runs on dual n-back, I can feel myself getting extremely focused and
> also starting to feel more fatigued. It seems like there's a tradeoff
> in that for having higher Gf (getting more focused), I get much more
> tired, and the fatigue if it's great enough which it usually is, then
> actually impairs my thinking.
>
> If anyone out there knows of any task that measures creativity, I
> would love to test myself out using it before and after doing a few
> dual n-back runs to measure objectively if my creativity is less. I
> happen to feel that the attentional fatigue is severe enough that it
> does worsen my ability to think laterally and come up with new
> ideas.
>
> Thanks again guys, all your responses are appreciated, I'm sure that
> the Directed Attention Fatigue (DAF) that this task causes does have
> negative and somewhat counterproductive effects on cognition. See
> again that link I put up in my first post to start this thread to
> learn more about DAF.
>
> On Jan 21, 2:06 pm, biped <biped.prim...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > I have been doing it for a couple of months, off and on, and I haven't
> > noticed any negative effects on creativity. In fact, I would say that
> > my creativity has increased somewhat, but that could be a result of
> > other things I've started doing recently.
>
> > Regarding fatigue though, I will say that maintaining maximal
> > attention for as long as possible while doing BW can be really
> > mentally fatiguing, since I tend to sustain a higher level of
> > concentration for a longer period of time than doing anything else. If
> > I weren't healthy and getting plenty of sleep, I could see how I might
> > not recover very quickly and might feel fatigued for a long time
> > afterwards, especially if I was borderline fatigued already. Getting
> > fatigued is probably normal if you do it for long enough, since it's
> > an EXTREMELY demanding task, so the question is why you're not
> > recovering quickly enough and why you get fatigued more quickly than
> > you should when you don't do it for very long. I tend to still feel
> > refreshed afterward if I felt good when I started and I did a standard
> > block of 20 runs whereas doing more than 20 runs will sometimes leave
> > me more fatigued, depending on how fatigued I was initially and how
> > much more than 20 I did. Even then though, I recover very quickly
> > afterward.
>
> > Did you have any tendencies for this sort of fatigue before starting
> > BW? You mentioned attention fatigue and also creativity deficits. What
> > are the symptoms you've experienced regarding creativity deficits? Do
> > you have any quasi-objective way of testing yourself (like a brain
> > game that requires creative thinking) that you could do both now while
> > doing BW and after taking a break from BW?
>
> > You also might try BW with feedback enabled or disabled, the opposite
> > of what you've been doing, and see if that makes a difference. They
> > seem to me to exercise different aspects of attention.

DarwinsBane

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Mar 14, 2012, 11:45:18 PM3/14/12
to brain-t...@googlegroups.com
I have observed the opposite in my own case. I find that it greatly assists in organizing information. That might be because I have low latent inhibition and an average working memory. So maybe the effect is dependent on an individual's initial capacity for latent inhibition. 

On Wednesday, January 21, 2009 10:43:24 AM UTC-5, john21...@gmail.com wrote:
I've done the dual n-back task avidly for over a month and while I
find it makes me mentally sharper, that comes a high cost - the loss
of creativity and lateral thinking.  In fact, I experience what is
called as severe directed attention fatigue (see www.troutfoot.com/attn/dafintro.html).

I was wondering if others have noticed a significant loss in their
creativity and ability to generate new ideas from doing dual n-back
training or if this is unique to just me?  Any detailed reports of
your experiences would be appreciated; at first I was very positive
about doing the training but now I don't know if it's really worth it
considering to maintain the effects I need to do booster sessions and
even short booster sessions severely impair creativity to the point
that one becomes very mentally flat, single-minded, and I'd even say
zombie-ish.

Thanks all and best of luck.
Message has been deleted

jotaro

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Mar 15, 2012, 2:51:12 PM3/15/12
to brain-t...@googlegroups.com


oh man this is silly of course it doesnt reduce creativity
and whats more it doesnt increase it either.
but you strain you brain when you train your working memory so its harder to use you brain later and feels unmotivated to think
but creativity isnt reduced.
 

XFMQ902SF

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Mar 15, 2012, 8:45:38 PM3/15/12
to Dual N-Back, Brain Training & Intelligence
Fluid intelligence and creativity go together. Smarter people are also
more creative. If dual n-back does improve intelligence(dubious) then
creativity should increase not decrease. Linked is a paper explaining
the relationship between IQ and creative thought.


http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160289612000189

Brain Train

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Mar 17, 2012, 12:24:51 AM3/17/12
to brain-t...@googlegroups.com
i raised similar point several months back.. (that dnb may reduce creativity).
 
dnb increases focus.
focussed mind is like a chained dog (it remains withing 6 feet of his master).
creativity needs a mind which is like a dog with very long chain (or better still, unchained dog).
 
thinking of focussed people remain too close to their goal.. they think only about things closely and directly related to their goals.
Many times the solution lies far away.. only wild mind would venture that far..
 
in day to day routine things, focussed mind is more suited.. it makes you more efficient (at straight forward things, of daily life). so dnb is definitely good to improve efficiency at mundane tasks of day to day life.
 
but mind in ultra-focussed mode is not going to be good at creativity.
 
However, even creative people need some focussed time. because ideas after being conceived, needs to be implemented and which needs focussed effort.
 
ideally i would prefer a quick switch between the two states.. creative in general, focussed when in execution mode!
 
 
 


 
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jotaro

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Mar 17, 2012, 8:24:03 AM3/17/12
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it seems to me you guys confuse creativity with randomness .
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