Insights could be linked to dopamine

Martin Tik, Christian Windischberger, and I have been working hard (and under the influence of ultra-high magnetic fields and ultra-high amounts of coffee) to uncover the mysteries of the Aha! moment. Together with our partners from the EU project CREAM we want to understand the origins of human creativity and how it could be improved.

Our team focussed on creative insights. We found out that the so called Aha! moment could be linked to the release of dopamine in the midbrain. An insight moment happens when you suddenly realize, e.g., the solution to a problem you have been working on. It feels great, you are certain about the solution, you will memorize this solution more easily – you feel you are done and want to move on. All this could be linked to the neurotransmitter dopamine…

Tik M & Sladky R, Luft CDB, Willinger D, Hoffmann A, Banissy MJ, Bhattacharya J, Windischberger C. Ultra-high-field fMRI insights on insight: Neural correlates of the Aha! moment. Human Brain Mapping 2018