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A. Savinova1, Sergey Korovkin 2
  • 1 Yaroslavl Demidov State University, 9 Matrosova Lane, Yaroslavl, 150057, Russian Federation
  • 2 P.G. Demidov Yaroslavl State University, 9 Matrosova proezd, Yaroslavl, 150057, Russian Federation

Controlled Discovery: The Executive Functions in Insight Problem Solving

2019. Vol. 16. No. 1. P. 164–180 [issue contents]

Executive functions could play an important role in insight problem solving, however their character, content, and pattern of dynamics may significantly differ from the role of executive functions in non-insight problems. We employed a dual-task paradigm with probe-tasks to track the dynamics of executive functions load in working memory. Two experiments in which we investigated the dynamics of executive functions load in insight and non-insight problems with simultaneous implementation of the Eriksen flanker test are described. Differences in the dynamics of various executive functions in insight problem solving were not revealed. But we found that the dynamics of reaction time in the probe-tasks differs between insight and non-insight problem solving. The results reveal that insight problem solving demands fewer executive resources, but the executive functions load is significantly greater than the baseline. Also, we found that various phases of insight problems require different amount of executive resources. The non-insight problems featured a significant executive functions load after the phase of reading the problem. In insight problem solving we observed an improvement of probe-tasks performance after the phase of reading the problem in the middle of the problem solving process. We speculate that this result reveals an impasse phase that is related to an executive functions load decrease. Surprisingly, we observed a significant increase in the executive functions activity immediately prior to the awareness of a solution. It might be due to controlled solution processing after noticing new elements of a problem that lead to the final solution.

Citation: Savinova A., Korovkin S. (2019)

Kontroliruemoe otkrytie: upravlyayushchie funktsii v reshenii insaytnykh zadach

[Controlled Discovery: The Executive Functions in Insight Problem Solving]. Psychology. Journal of Higher School of Economics, vol. 16, no 1, pp. 164-180 (in Russian)
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