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Intuitive decision making as a gradual process: investigating semantic intuition-based and priming-based decisions with fMRI.

Zander T, Horr NK, Bolte A, Volz KG - Brain Behav (2015)

Bottom Line: We realized this by priming participants with concepts associated with incoherent triads in separate priming blocks prior to the coherence judgments.For intuition-based decisions, imaging results mainly revealed activity within the orbitofrontal cortex, within the inferior frontal gyrus and the middle temporal gyrus.Regarding research question 2, we can draw the preliminary conclusion of a qualitative difference between intuition-based and priming-based decisions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Werner Reichardt Centre for Integrative NeuroscienceUniversity of TübingenTübingenGermany; International Max Planck Research SchoolTübingenGermany; Department of PsychologyUniversity of BaselSwitzerland.

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Intuition has been defined as the instantaneous, experience-based impression of coherence elicited by cues in the environment. In a context of discovery, intuitive decision-making processes can be conceptualized as occurring within two stages, the first of which comprises an implicit perception of coherence that is not (yet) verbalizable. Through a process of spreading activation, this initially non-conscious perception gradually crosses over a threshold of awareness and thereby becomes explicable. Because of its experiential basis, intuition shares conceptual similarities with implicit memory processes. Based on these, the study addresses two research questions: (1) Is the gradual nature of intuitive processes reflected on a neural level? (2) Do intuition-based decisions differ neurally from priming-based decisions?

Methods: To answer these questions, we conducted an fMRI study using the triads task and presented participants with coherent word triads that converge on a common fourth concept, and incoherent word triads that do not converge on a common fourth concept. Participants had to perform semantic coherence judgments as well as to indicate whether they immediately knew the fourth concept. To enable investigating intuition-based and priming-based decisions within the same task and with the same participants, we implemented a conceptual priming procedure into the coherence judgment task. We realized this by priming participants with concepts associated with incoherent triads in separate priming blocks prior to the coherence judgments.

Results: For intuition-based decisions, imaging results mainly revealed activity within the orbitofrontal cortex, within the inferior frontal gyrus and the middle temporal gyrus. Activity suppression in the right temporo-occipital complex was observed for priming-based decisions.

Conclusions: With respect to research question 1, our data support a continuity model of intuition because the two intuitive stages show quantitatively distinct brain activation patterns. Regarding research question 2, we can draw the preliminary conclusion of a qualitative difference between intuition-based and priming-based decisions.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Gradual mapping onto the two‐stage model of intuition for coherent triads. According to Bowers et al. (1990), intuitive processing can occur within two different stages. The guiding stage is rather implicit since the source of the coherence impression cannot be explicitly verbalized. The integrative stage, however, is rather explicit since the coherence impression can now be consciously accessible and consequently, the source of the impression can be explained. The transition from one stage to the other is assumed to be fostered by the accumulation of activated concepts in semantic memory automatically driven by environmental clues. In our trial classification, we stick to this theoretical account and mapped the participants’ responses onto the two stages of the model. By adding a third response option (i.e., splitting coherence judgments into implicit and explicit ones in addition to incoherence judgments) as well as by means of the word‐stem completions subsequently following the coherence judgments, we were able to classify each trial with respect to whether the participant has already crossed the threshold of awareness. Explicit (cohSOL) = response option 3: “The triad is coherent and a CA can be retrieved immediately”. Implicit (cohSOL): response option 2: “The triad is coherent and therefore has a fourth word in common, but a CA cannot be retrieved at this time”.
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brb3420-fig-0003: Gradual mapping onto the two‐stage model of intuition for coherent triads. According to Bowers et al. (1990), intuitive processing can occur within two different stages. The guiding stage is rather implicit since the source of the coherence impression cannot be explicitly verbalized. The integrative stage, however, is rather explicit since the coherence impression can now be consciously accessible and consequently, the source of the impression can be explained. The transition from one stage to the other is assumed to be fostered by the accumulation of activated concepts in semantic memory automatically driven by environmental clues. In our trial classification, we stick to this theoretical account and mapped the participants’ responses onto the two stages of the model. By adding a third response option (i.e., splitting coherence judgments into implicit and explicit ones in addition to incoherence judgments) as well as by means of the word‐stem completions subsequently following the coherence judgments, we were able to classify each trial with respect to whether the participant has already crossed the threshold of awareness. Explicit (cohSOL) = response option 3: “The triad is coherent and a CA can be retrieved immediately”. Implicit (cohSOL): response option 2: “The triad is coherent and therefore has a fourth word in common, but a CA cannot be retrieved at this time”.

Mentions: Intuitive processes in the integrative stage (after having crossed the threshold of awareness) denoted by responses where participants in the coherence judgment chose option 3 AND indicated in the word‐stem completion that they knew the CA (see Fig. 3).Figure 3


Intuitive decision making as a gradual process: investigating semantic intuition-based and priming-based decisions with fMRI.

Zander T, Horr NK, Bolte A, Volz KG - Brain Behav (2015)

Gradual mapping onto the two‐stage model of intuition for coherent triads. According to Bowers et al. (1990), intuitive processing can occur within two different stages. The guiding stage is rather implicit since the source of the coherence impression cannot be explicitly verbalized. The integrative stage, however, is rather explicit since the coherence impression can now be consciously accessible and consequently, the source of the impression can be explained. The transition from one stage to the other is assumed to be fostered by the accumulation of activated concepts in semantic memory automatically driven by environmental clues. In our trial classification, we stick to this theoretical account and mapped the participants’ responses onto the two stages of the model. By adding a third response option (i.e., splitting coherence judgments into implicit and explicit ones in addition to incoherence judgments) as well as by means of the word‐stem completions subsequently following the coherence judgments, we were able to classify each trial with respect to whether the participant has already crossed the threshold of awareness. Explicit (cohSOL) = response option 3: “The triad is coherent and a CA can be retrieved immediately”. Implicit (cohSOL): response option 2: “The triad is coherent and therefore has a fourth word in common, but a CA cannot be retrieved at this time”.
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getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4834943&req=5

brb3420-fig-0003: Gradual mapping onto the two‐stage model of intuition for coherent triads. According to Bowers et al. (1990), intuitive processing can occur within two different stages. The guiding stage is rather implicit since the source of the coherence impression cannot be explicitly verbalized. The integrative stage, however, is rather explicit since the coherence impression can now be consciously accessible and consequently, the source of the impression can be explained. The transition from one stage to the other is assumed to be fostered by the accumulation of activated concepts in semantic memory automatically driven by environmental clues. In our trial classification, we stick to this theoretical account and mapped the participants’ responses onto the two stages of the model. By adding a third response option (i.e., splitting coherence judgments into implicit and explicit ones in addition to incoherence judgments) as well as by means of the word‐stem completions subsequently following the coherence judgments, we were able to classify each trial with respect to whether the participant has already crossed the threshold of awareness. Explicit (cohSOL) = response option 3: “The triad is coherent and a CA can be retrieved immediately”. Implicit (cohSOL): response option 2: “The triad is coherent and therefore has a fourth word in common, but a CA cannot be retrieved at this time”.
Mentions: Intuitive processes in the integrative stage (after having crossed the threshold of awareness) denoted by responses where participants in the coherence judgment chose option 3 AND indicated in the word‐stem completion that they knew the CA (see Fig. 3).Figure 3

Bottom Line: We realized this by priming participants with concepts associated with incoherent triads in separate priming blocks prior to the coherence judgments.For intuition-based decisions, imaging results mainly revealed activity within the orbitofrontal cortex, within the inferior frontal gyrus and the middle temporal gyrus.Regarding research question 2, we can draw the preliminary conclusion of a qualitative difference between intuition-based and priming-based decisions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Werner Reichardt Centre for Integrative NeuroscienceUniversity of TübingenTübingenGermany; International Max Planck Research SchoolTübingenGermany; Department of PsychologyUniversity of BaselSwitzerland.

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Intuition has been defined as the instantaneous, experience-based impression of coherence elicited by cues in the environment. In a context of discovery, intuitive decision-making processes can be conceptualized as occurring within two stages, the first of which comprises an implicit perception of coherence that is not (yet) verbalizable. Through a process of spreading activation, this initially non-conscious perception gradually crosses over a threshold of awareness and thereby becomes explicable. Because of its experiential basis, intuition shares conceptual similarities with implicit memory processes. Based on these, the study addresses two research questions: (1) Is the gradual nature of intuitive processes reflected on a neural level? (2) Do intuition-based decisions differ neurally from priming-based decisions?

Methods: To answer these questions, we conducted an fMRI study using the triads task and presented participants with coherent word triads that converge on a common fourth concept, and incoherent word triads that do not converge on a common fourth concept. Participants had to perform semantic coherence judgments as well as to indicate whether they immediately knew the fourth concept. To enable investigating intuition-based and priming-based decisions within the same task and with the same participants, we implemented a conceptual priming procedure into the coherence judgment task. We realized this by priming participants with concepts associated with incoherent triads in separate priming blocks prior to the coherence judgments.

Results: For intuition-based decisions, imaging results mainly revealed activity within the orbitofrontal cortex, within the inferior frontal gyrus and the middle temporal gyrus. Activity suppression in the right temporo-occipital complex was observed for priming-based decisions.

Conclusions: With respect to research question 1, our data support a continuity model of intuition because the two intuitive stages show quantitatively distinct brain activation patterns. Regarding research question 2, we can draw the preliminary conclusion of a qualitative difference between intuition-based and priming-based decisions.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus