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Challenge

Working with innovation is challenging – making individuals or groups work creatively to produce new ideas that are both disruptive and are still usable, is one of the challenges in modern economy. Most or all of the methods underlying these processes, such as creative ideation, include group work that look very similar to focus group work. At least, creative ideation work in groups relies much on conscious, narrative processes, with little attention to unconscious rocesses.

Understanding these unconscious processes may increase our understanding of the creative process, as well as how we can utilise and improve the creative process.

What we did

Video recording and group neuroimaging (EEG), using the NeuroPrototypingTM protocol.

Client examples

Participants were teamed into groups of 4, and all were equipped with brain scanning (EEG) while they underwent two specific parts of the NeuroPrototyping process:

1. Creative Ideation – measuring brain responses while people worked on creative ideation. here, we measured brain responses across the group, and
2. Prototype Pitching – Here, we tested how people responded emotionally and cognitively to being presented with novel and disruptive new ideas.

WHAT WE FOUND

During Creative Ideation, we found that different stages produced different emotional and cognitive brain responses. Here, idea generation was the most mentally taxing and least enjoyable, while discussing consequences of inventions and story generation were the most enjoyable. This was also reflected in self­reports of engagement, enjoyment, and group efforts and success. During Prototype Pitching, we found substantial differences in emotional responses to different prototype pitches. This suggests that participants’ unconscious emotional and cognitive responses “label” each pitch, and are likely to affects subsequent evaluation and choice.

We also found that some pitches produced a coherent response across the group, indicating that the pitch triggered everyone to respond in the same way. Conversely, other pitches produced less coherent responses, indicating that participants responded very differently to the pitch. Understanding unconscious processes of creativity is an untapped resource, and our

NeuroPrototyping approach provides the solution to this. In this study, we demonstrated that unconscious responses helped understand and improve the creative process itself, but also how we can create prototype presentations that produce a strong and coherent emotional audience responses.

  • “In this study, we demonstrated that unconscious responses helped understand and improve the creative process itself, but also how we can create prototype presentations that produce a strong and coherent emotional audience responses.“

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