A Forum for discussing emerging smart discoveries and emerging technologies with built-in intelligence or embedded smarts, as well as the new cognitive skills needed to succeed in the smart economy. The Smart Future is already here, just the last page hasn't been written yet! Every advance brings benefits as well as intrusions.
Have your say !! Read, enjoy, explore, speculate, comment !!
Research has shown that 90% of all cancer deaths are due to cancer metastasis. Cancer can only spread in the body when we have an environment of excess free radicals or oxidative stress. An ultra-high, universal, antioxidant like Carbon 60 hydrated fullerenes neutralize free radicals and prevent cancer metastasis.
Factsheet #6 Link between Oxidative Stress, Free Radicals and Cancer v4
Time Magazine and National Geographic both recently ran cover stories with a baby on the cover. The tagline reads: This baby could live to be 142 years old. So the question that immediately comes to mind is: Is this possible and can everyone age gracefully without chronic human diseases? And can we do it with today’s technology ?
To explore this question we first need to compare the mortality in 1900 versus today. In 1900, half of the deaths were caused by pneumonia, influenza, tuberculosis, gastrointestinal infections. These diseases were cured largely with antibiotics and antivirals after world war two. Cancer, diabetes, coronary heart disease, and Alzheimer’s were present but not near the rates we see today. Now, the top causes of death today, according to US statistics are heart disease, lung cancer, lung disease (asthma) , stroke, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and hypertension. An interesting question to ask would be: Do all these new, twenty first century diseases all have something in common, just like the top causes of death in 1900 where from bacterial or viral sources? A review of the medical literature shows two primary causes. In turns out that most chronic human diseases are 1) triggered by excess free radicals or oxidative stress and 2) are the result of a lack of essential minerals and trace minerals and cofactors in our diets.
Free radicals or oxidative stress is the result of our cells metabolizing or breathing oxygen. Free radical are the “waste” products of life, and they are very destructive to cell membranes, proteins and DNA. Our body has a natural protective system-antioxidant enzymes that neutralize excess free radicals. If this delicate balance is disrupted, this then leads to an inflammation response in the body and eventually, chronic diseases could ensue. As we age, our natural antioxidant protective systems decline and we are told to supplement with natural botanical antioxidants, such as blueberries , green tea or cinnamon or antioxidant supplements such as Vitamin E or coenzyme Q10. But then we run into the “antioxidant paradox”. All these food antioxidants work great as antioxidants in a test tube in the lab, but in human clinical trials, the beneficial effects are either inconclusive or negative. This is because saliva and gut bacteria metabolise many these botanical antioxidants, before they have a chance to act beneficially.
Ukrainian scientists discovered the world’s highest antioxidant called Carbon 60 hydrated fullerenes, which is stable and inert and not metabolised by bacteria. Carbon 60, a natural product, was discovered in 1985 and a Nobel prize in Chemistry was awarded for this discovery in 1996. Scientists and doctors were calling it the panacea or silver bullet in medicine, but because it’s not naturally water soluble, just like diamonds, charcoal or activated charcoal, this frustrated scientists. Ukrainian scientist in Kharkiv the first to discovered how to dissolve Carbon 60 in water in 1994. After 20 years of preclinical, safety and clinical studies, Carbon 60 hydrated fullerenes were approved as a “dietary supplement” by the Ukrainian Ministry of Health and has been on the Ukrainian market since 2010. There is now a US patent pending. Scientists are now claiming that most chronic human diseases are triggered by excess free radicals. Just do a search on PUBMED with the key words “oxidative stress” and your own disease and you will find a link. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed ). Reduce excess free radicals and reduce your disease symptoms. A study at the University of Paris in 2010 showed that rats feed a diet supplemented with Carbon 60 in olive oil, increased the lifespan of rats by 90% from an average of 25-30 months to over 55 months.
Essential minerals and trace minerals.
The National Post ran a story on May 1- “Obese Canadians should be granted legal protection from discrimination, professor says.” The obesity debate is totally missing the point. Most Doctors are ignoring their own medical research. The cause of the 400% increase in obesity in last 3 decades in Canada and sharp rise in most other chronic human diseases since the 1930’ is due to a chronic lack of essential minerals and trace minerals in our diet (plants, fruits and vegetables) that are needed as co-factors in the body for our biochemical pathways to work efficiently.
The soil minerals concentrations have been dropping worldwide for the last 100 years, so less and less minerals are absorbed in fruits, vegetables and other plants. This is due primarily to the fact that we no longer cook and heat our homes with wood and throw away the ashes (95% minerals) back into the garden to replenish the soil with the 60 essential and trace minerals that our bodies need. Fertilizer only has 3 minerals. Even the nutritional supplements commonly found in most health food stores don't carry the full complement of 90 essential nutrients, which should include 60 essential minerals, 15 essential vitamins, 12 essential amino acids and 3 fatty acids and the right doses of each and the correct easily absorbable mineral salts.
How do we know that we need 90 essential nutrients? Just talk to any veterinarian. Vets have cured over 600 chronic human diseases in farm animals and in zoo animals by supplementing their food with nutritional pellets. When was the last time you saw a cow with arthritis and a pig with Alzheimer’s? Vets have to cure an animal after the first time otherwise beef would cost over $500 a pound or eggs $50 a dozen. Why? Because animals don’t have health insurance. Doctors are quite content to treat your disease symptoms for the rest of your life, billing health insurance and not curing your disease after a few visits. Human clinical studies in the past 40 years have shown that most chronic human diseases are also caused by essential mineral deficiencies and can be controlled with the proper essential and trace minerals. Diabetes has been controlled with the right amount of chromium and vanadium and other essential cofactors. Arthritis is a lack of proper calcium absorption and cofactors such as Vitamin D and magnesium. Greying hair is a copper deficiency in the diet.
So can we live to be 100 or over without chronic human diseases? Yes by reducing excess oxidative stress or free radicals in our body and ensuring that we get the right daily balance of 90 essential nutrients including 60 minerals and trace minerals.
If you would like more information on the above or a copy of my presentation on Aging Gracefully without Chronic Human Diseases that I gave at Ukrainian Canadian Social Services last week, send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (416) 819-9667 or download it from this link http://bit.ly/1KzZvm8 For Ukrainian listeners, catch my Ukrainian radio interview on Radio KONTAKT archives from Saturday April 25, 2015 http://www.kontaktglobal.com/radio-saturday.html
Walter Derzko is the president of the startup C60 Water North America
I’m adding a link to a presentation I gave last week to a group of seniors at the Ukrainian Canadian Social Services –Toronto Branch on Aging Gracefully without Chronic Human Diseases. It’s designed for a non-technical, layperson audience. You can download it from the link below.
Today marks the 1st anniversary of the Smart Economy Blog. We've received many encouraging feedback & emails from our readers over the past year and good suggestions from positive-focused critics for future improvements.
According to Pingpoat, The Smart Economy Blog is worth is $1011.17! per day
Inbound links: 1085
Technorati rank: 34,021
So today, I'm announcing a series of new "smart" initiatives that we will be kicking off in October 2006.
The Smart Economy is growing exponentially and so are we, right along with it.
Smart Economy Learning Series-monthly workshops in Toronto
Starting in October 2006, we will be launching a monthly series of one-day workshops on topics that our blog readers say interest them. These include:
Latest Tools for Advanced Environmental Scanning, Managing Information Overload and Sense-making ( October 12, 2006, BCE Place Toronto) email me asking for a registration form
Lateral thinking in business (Date TBA)
Developing foresight in your business or industry (Date TBA)
Resolving conflicts and disputes using lateral thinking (Date TBA)
The Opportunity Clinic --Scanning your business environment for Opportunities(Date TBA)
The Idea Lab --Designing smart products and services that will drive business development forward (Date TBA)
Introduction to Business Development --Tracking emerging technologies as threats or opportunities for your business (Date TBA)
Technology Assessment for Investment Professionals & High Tech Startups (Date TBA)
Building a Busines Case for Smart Devices, objects and services (Date TBA)
Designing winning business modles for Smart Technologies (Date TBA)
Register today, since space will be limited. Past workshops have sold out quickly.
The Smart Economy Web Page
We are finally in the last stages of planning and constructing our new web site for the Smart Economy. Watch out for launch date soon.
The Smart Economy Webinar Series.
Also starting in October 2006, we will host a monthly opportunity for our blog readers to phone in and participate in a "live seminar" which will include power-point slides and a Q&A session, all from the comfort of your PC or laptop. It will be on some current topic related to the smart economy and some rising smart technology that will be coming into prominence soon. This will be a subscription based series.... We will try to keep the price reasonable so that everyone can participate. Subscription information & schedule will be out soon. Watch for announcements.
Thanks again for all your ideas and keep the feedback coming in.
Expert, Consultant and Keynote Speaker on Emerging Smart Technologies, Innovation, Strategic Foresight,, Business Development, Lateral Creative Thinking and author of an upcoming book on the Smart Economy "
To arrange for an in house presentation on smart technologysee here
Today is a bit of an anniversary for the Smart Economy. Since I started on this blog last Fall (Sept 15th, 2005 to be exact), I've posted 500 entries (this is # 501). We've received over 100 comments online and many more private direct emails. Our daily traffic is growing steadily month by month, as word spreads about The Smart Economy. Many other influential and popular web sites, trend syndication services and blogs now link back to us.
According to Pingpoat, The Smart Economy Blog is worth is $1011.17! Per day
Inbound links: 1085
Technorati rank: 34,021
I'd like to hear feedback from you --- our blog readers. How can we improve this site?
what do you enjoy reading about smart technologies?
what else would you like to see?
what don't you like? what annoys you?
what suggestions do you have for future topics?
what would you like to see more coverage of?
do you use RSS? would you subscribe to a Smart Economy RSS news feed?
would you like to hear news about the smart economy on your Mp3 player?
would you like a one-stop-shop to purchase smart technologies?
would you find road maps for smart technologies useful for your worK?
would you subscribe to a monthly online seminar (webinar) on smart technology?
would you find workshops on smart technology topics useful?
how do you use our information? investment decisions? strategic decisions? alliance decisions? other?
Post your replies or comments in the comments box below or send me a private email
I look forward to hearing from you.
Enjoy the rest of 2006 and 2007 and I hope to see you back here on a regular basis.
The OECD Global Science Forum has been investigating the decline in the relative number of students in scientific and technological disciplines.
While enrollment numbers for all forms of higher education have increased, the proportion of students pursuing scientific/technical degrees has fallen off in recent decades, most notably in mathematics and the physical sciences. This policy oriented document recommends further study to determine what impact this might have, what the causes might be, and to come up with solutions to the problem.
Add a world-renowned physicist to the list -possibly the Einstein of the 21 century
Associated Press is reporting yesterday and today that scientist Stephen Hawking while lecturing in Hong Kong, cautioned that the survival of the human race depends on its ability to find new homes elsewhere in the universe because there's an increasing risk that a disaster will destroy the Earth.
Hawkings thinks that humans could have a permanent base on the moon in 20 years and a colony on Mars in the next 40 years.
"We won't find anywhere as nice as Earth unless we go to another star system " He added that if humans can avoid killing themselves in the next 100 years, they should have space settlements that can continue without support from Earth.
"It is important for the human race to spread out into space for the survival of the species," Hawking said. "Life on Earth is at the ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster, such as sudden global warming, nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus or other dangers we have not yet thought of."
These disaster events, called Wild Cards, are low probability but high impact events that happen quickly, taking most people by surprise
Want to create and predict your own Wild Cards ?
Z-Punkt in Germany offers a Wild Card game where you get the chance to create and suggest future Wild Card events see here
Possible Wild Cards
To give yo a bit of a taste for Wild Cards, below is a list of British Telecom's Wildcards from 2005 and when they might happen ( indicators that they could be happening or have happened --highlighted in red)
WILD CARDS (THAT COULD HAPPEN ALMOST ANYTIME)
Megavolcano erupts 2005
Cumbre Vieha collapses, megatsunami wipes out dozens of cities 2005
Asteroid or comet hits earth 2005 ( N.B. Meteoroid hit Norway last week )
Massive solar flare wipes out life on earth 2005
Natural evolution of superbug 2005( Houseflies Collected in Fast Food Restaurants Found to Carry Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria : June 14, 2006(L. Macovei, L. Zurek. 2006. Ecology of antibiotic resistance genes: characterization of enterococci from houseflies collected in food settings. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 72. 6: 4028-4035)
Extraordinary US West Coast Natural Disaster 2005
First Unambiguous Contact with Extraterrestrial Life -- The Arrival of Ets 2005
Ice caps melt, Oceans rise one hundred feet 2005
Mass Migrations 2005
Another Chernobyl 2005
Collapse of the United Nations 2005
Global nuclear war 2005
Environmental pressure causes evolution of superbug 2005
Aids or similarly deadly disease mutates and becomes transmittable by air 2005
Bugs resistant to all known antibiotics 2005 (see US develops lethal new viruses ) & above( Houseflies Collected in Fast Food Restaurants Found to Carry Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria : June 14, 2006
Rules Change: Economic and/or Environmental "War Criminals" Are Prosecuted 2005
US Economy Fails or collapse of the dollar 2005 (some PetroStates looking at abandoning US $ and switching to Euros)
Civil nuclear war 2005
Global economic collapse causes mass starvation and conflict 2005
Global civil war 2005
Space exploration creates superbug 2005
Civil war between Soviet States Goes Nuclear 2005
Collapse of World's Fisheries 2005 (see Climate change: The great Atlantic shutdown Shockfindings suggest vital Atlantic currents are slowing dramatically. Will this soon plunge Europe into winter, turn the Amazon into grassland and cause famine in Asia? 15 April 2006 )
Computer/Chip/Operating System Maker Blackmails Country or World 2005
End of Intergenerational Solidarity 2005
Gulf or Jet Stream Shifts Location Permanently 2005
International Financial Collapse 2005
Large-scale lengthy disruption of national electrical supply 2005
Major Break in Alaskan pipeline - Significant ecological damage 2005
Major Chaos in Africa 2005
Nuclear Terrorist Attack on United States or Europe 2005
Rise of an American Dictator 2005
Social breakdown in US or Europe 2005
Stock market crash 2005
Human Cloning Perfected, Human Genetic Engineering Arrives 2005
Accidental creation of lethal organism during research 2005
Anti-tech backlash destroys systems chaos and starvation 2005
Deliberate biotech self-destruct by malicious biotech researcher 2005
The gold standard of digital security - used to authenticate everything from secure websites for credit card transactions to passwords and digital signatures - lies in tatters 17 December 2005
Hackers Blackmail Federal Reserve 2005
China launches cyberwar against Taiwan 2005
Virus outbreak kills 100 million people worldwide 2005
Internet collapse due to security concerns undermining trust 2005
Strike on urban area by 500m asteroid (below current detection threshold) 2005 ( N.B. Meteoroid hits Norway last week )
Biotech terrorist attack goes wrong 2010
Evolved crime destroys human systems 2010
Global civil war between cybernations 2010
Hackers wipe out networks, causing chaos and mass starvation 2010
The hostile arrival of Ets detecting our transmissions 2010
Viruses become immune to all known treatments 2010
End of the Nation State 2010
Foetal Sex Selection Becomes the Norm 2010
Gulf Stream ceases 2015 (see Climate change: The great Atlantic shutdown Shockfindings suggest vital Atlantic currents are slowing dramatically. Will this soon plunge Europe into winter, turn the Amazon into grassland and cause famine in Asia? 15 April 2006
Computers and robots become superior to humans 2015
Self-aware machine intelligence 2015
Third world exodus destabilises global system 2015
Computers/Robots think like humans 2015
Collapse of the sperm count 2020
Global epidemic with high speed travel and high population density 2020
Global famine caused by manmade environmental change 2020 (see Climate change: The great Atlantic shutdown Shockfindings suggest vital Atlantic currents are slowing dramatically. Will this soon plunge Europe into winter, turn the Amazon into grassland and cause famine in Asia? 15 April 2006 & Climate change warning over food productionThe first real-world experiments on the effects of rising carbon dioxide and ozone on key food crops suggest significant drops in yields 26 April 2005
Hybrid nanotech-organic creatures 2020
International social collapse - widespread civil conflict 2020
Major information systems disruption 2020
Major technology or science research accident 2020
Once in a while you read a story that you just want to share with everyone....I ran across such a piece in NewsWeek today -by Fareed Zakaria called: How Long Will America Lead the World?
The United States is still the dominant force in technology, innovation, productivity and profits. But Americans don't quite realize how fast the rest of the world is catching up.
[here are some key points from the article-Walter Derzko]
....Well, Americans have replaced Britons atop the world, and we are now worried that history is happening to us. History has arrived in the form of "Three Billion New Capitalists," as Clyde Prestowitz's recent book puts it, people from countries like China, India and the former Soviet Union, which all once scorned the global market economy but are now enthusiastic and increasingly sophisticated participants in it. They are poorer, hungrier and in some cases well trained, and will inevitably compete with Americans and America for a slice of the pie.....
.....Much of the concern centers on the erosion of science and technology in the U.S., particularly in education…..[ ].... China and India combined graduate 950,000 engineers every year, compared with 70,000 in America; that for the cost of one chemist or engineer in the U.S. a company could hire five chemists in China or 11 engineers in India; that of the 120 $1 billion-plus chemical plants being built around the world one is in the United States and 50 are in China…[ ].... "More people will graduate in the United States in 2006 with sports-exercise degrees than electrical-engineering degrees,".....
.......The genius of America's success is that the United States is a rich country with many of the attributes of a scrappy, developing society. It is open, flexible and adventurous, often unmindful of history and tradition. Its people work hard, putting in longer hours than those in other rich countries. Much of this has do to with the history and culture of the society. A huge amount of it has to do with immigration, which keeps America constantly renewed by streams of hardworking people, desperate to succeed. Science laboratories in America are more than half filled with foreign students and immigrants. Without them, America's leadership position in the sciences would collapse. That is why America, alone among industrial nations, has been able to do the nearly impossible: renew its power and stay at the top of the game for a century now. We can expand our science programs --and we should --but we will never be able to compete with India and China in the production of engineers. No matter what we do, they will have more, and cheaper, labor. What we can do is take the best features of the America system--openness, innovation, immigration and flexibility- and enhance them, so that they can respond to new challenges by creating new industries, new technologies and new jobs, as we have in the past."...
Our greatest danger is that when the American public does begin to get scared, they will try to shut down the very features of the country that have made it so successful.They will want to shut out foreign companies, be less welcoming to immigrants and close themselves off from competition and collaboration. Over the past year there have already been growing paranoia on all these fronts.
[Some of the reactive knee-jerk reactions ----Some US senators are proposing to embed RFID Chips in USA Immigrants & Guest workers.Dubai Ports was blocked by USA congress to manage US ports, even though most people don't realise that Vancouver's port is managed by Dubai Ports. The Dutch have taken a hard line, banning Islamic women from wearing their traditional burkas. Canadian politicians are contemplating banning tourists from Parliament Hill in Ottawa after the arrest of a terrorist cell in Toronto, Canada-Walter Derzko]
If we go down this path, we will remain a rich country and a stable one. We will be less troubled by the jarring changes that the new world is pushing forward. But like Britain after Queen Victoria's reign, it will be a future of slow, steady national decline. History will happen to us after all.
The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology (CRN) today announced the continuation of its first series of original essays in which industry experts predict profound impacts of nanotechnology on society.
Eleven new articles by members of CRN's Global Task Force appear in the latest issue of the journal Nanotechnology Perceptions, published today, complementing the previous issue's collection.
Covering topics from commerce to criminology, from ethics to economics, and from our remote past to our distant future, this new collection illustrates the profound transformation that nanotechnology will have on every aspect of human society.
Ray Kurzweil, renowned inventor, entrepreneur, and best-selling author, explained,
"As the pace of technological advancement rapidly accelerates, it becomes increasingly important to promote knowledgeable and insightful discussion of both promise and peril. I'm very pleased to take part in this effort by including my own essay, and by hosting discussion of these essays on the 'MindX' discussion board at KurzweilAI.net."
Nanotechnology Perceptions is a peer-reviewed academic journal of the Collegium Basilea in Basel, Switzerland.
"We jumped at the chance to publish the CRN Task Force essays," said Jeremy Ramsden, editor-in-chief of the journal. "To us, these articles represent world-class thinking about some of the most important challenges that human society will ever face."
In August 2005, the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology, a non-profit research and advocacy organization, formed its Global Task Force to study the societal implications of molecular manufacturing, an advanced form of nanotechnology. Bringing together a diverse group of world-class experts from multiple disciplines, CRN is spearheading an historic, collaborative effort to develop comprehensive recommendations for the safe and responsible use of this rapidly emerging technology.
"This outstanding compilation of 22 essays describes some of the major challenges posed by nanotechnology," said Mike Treder, executive director of CRN. "However, the collection also makes it clear that we have only scratched the surface of the risks, challenges, and opportunities associated with molecular manufacturing."
Like electricity or computers before it, nanotechnology will bring greatly improved efficiency and productivity in many areas of human endeavor. In its mature form, known as molecular manufacturing, it will have significant impact on almost all industries and all parts of society. Personal nanofactories may offer better built, longer lasting, cleaner, safer, and smarter products for the home, for communications, for medicine, for transportation, for agriculture, and for industry in general.
However, as a general-purpose technology, molecular manufacturing will be dual-use, meaning that in addition to its civilian applications, it will have military uses as well--making far more powerful weapons and tools of surveillance. Thus, it represents not only wonderful benefits for humanity, but also grave risks.
"Ongoing work toward molecular manufacturing is advancing rapidly in several fields," said Chris Phoenix, CRN's director of research. "These 22 essays examine many of the radical changes that molecular manufacturing will bring to society. We hope this collection challenges our readers as much as it informs them. Not much time is left to find wise solutions."
Most essays are available for publishing or reprint under Gnu Free Documentation License (GFDL). The second group of essays are:
1. "Nanoethics and Technological Revolutions: A Pr?cis" - Nick Bostrom
2. "From The Enlightenment to N-Lightenment" - Michael Buerger
3. "What Price Freedom?" - Robert A. Freitas Jr.*
4. "The (Needed) New Economics of Abundance" - Steve Burgess
Preparing for that AHA Eureka moment> Insight proportional to Mental preparation claims Creativity Research
Aha! Favors the prepared mind
If you've experienced the highs and lows of creative thinking, you know that sometimes the creative well is dry, while at other times creativity is free flowing. It is during the latter times that people often experience so-called "Aha!" Moments - those moments of clarity when the solution to a vexing problem falls into place with a sudden insight and you see connections that previously eluded you.
But why do "Aha!" Moments sometimes come easily and sometimes not at all?
A new study reveals that patterns of brain activity before people even see a problem predict whether they will solve it with or without such an insight, and these brain activity patterns are likely linked to distinct types of mental preparation.
Researchers from Drexel and Northwestern University will report their findings in a new paper to appear in an upcoming issue of the journal Psychological Science.
Previous research by this team demonstrated that the brain functions differently when a person arrives at "Aha!" Solutions, compared to methodical solutions. The current study reveals that the distinct patterns of brain activity leading to "Aha!"
Moments of insight begin much earlier than the time a problem is solved.
The research suggests that people can mentally prepare to have an "Aha!" Solution even before a problem is presented.
Specifically, as people prepare for problems that they solve with insight, their pattern of brain activity suggests that they are focusing attention inwardly, are ready to switch to new trains of thought, and perhaps are actively silencing irrelevant thoughts. These findings are important because they show that people can mentally prepare to solve problems with different thinking styles and that these different forms of preparation can be identified with specific patterns of brain activity. This study may eventually lead to an understanding of how to put people in the optimal "frame of mind" to deal with particular types of problems.
This research team's previous study revealed that just prior to an "Aha!" Solution, after a person has been working on solving a problem, the brain momentarily reduces visual inputs, with an effect similar to a person shutting his or her eyes or looking away to facilitate the emergence into consciousness of the solution. The new study extends these findings by suggesting that mental preparation involving inward focus of attention promotes insight even prior to the presentation of a problem. Therefore, it may be that how a person is thinking before problem solving begins is just as important as the kind of thinking involved in reaching the solution, and perhaps even determines whether the solution will be derived with a sudden insight.
Participants in the new study were presented with a series of word puzzles. Each problem consisted of three words (for example, tank, hill, secret), and participants had to think of a single word that could form a compound or common phrase with each of the three words. People sometimes solve such problems with a sudden flash of insight - the solution suddenly pops into their heads and seems obviously correct - and other times solve such problems more methodically, perhaps "trying out" possible solutions until they hit on the correct one (in this case, top: tank top, hilltop, top secret). In two parallel experiments, participants solved these problems while brain activity was monitored either with electroencephalograms (EEG), which provide precise timing information and approximate anatomical information, or with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which gives a more precise location of active brain areas, but with less precise timing. The researchers focused on neural activity that occurred during the period just before each problem was displayed. The two brain imaging techniques yielded highly similar results and showed a different pattern of brain activity prior to problems that they subsequently solved with an "Aha!", compared to the pattern of brain activity prior to problems they solved more methodically.
According to David E. Meyer, professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, who was not involved in the research, "It's remarkable how similar the results were across the two experiments, using different methods, and these results nicely demonstrate that different types of mental preparation are conducive to different types of problem solving."
" Mental preparation that led to insight solutions was generally characterized by increased brain activity in temporal lobe areas associated with conceptual processing, and with frontal lobe areas associated with cognitive control or "top-down" processing. Scientists noted that "Problem solvers could use cognitive control to switch their train of thought when stuck on a problem, or possibly to suppress irrelevant thoughts, such as those related to the previous problem."
In contrast, preparation that led to more methodical solutions involved increased neural activity in the visual cortex at the back of the brain -- suggesting that preparation for deliberate problem solving simply involved external focus of attention on the video monitor on which the problem would be displayed.
More than a century ago, the great scientist Louis Pasteur said
"Chance favors only the prepared mind."
By this, he meant that sudden flashes of insight don't just happen, but are the product of preparation. According to researchers,
"We have begun to understand how the brain prepares for creative insight. This will hopefully lead to techniques for facilitating it."
To accelerate your AHA moments call us to use our Idea Lab methods and techniques. Email me at email@example.com and ask about the Idea Lab