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Mark Beeman


Research Interests

I want to know how people think. I am particularly interested in “high-level cognition,” such as how people understand whole stories, and solve complex problems. I particularly want to know how the brain thinks. All research on the brain and on thinking or perceiving, without regard to the brain, is interesting and useful. But I find it particularly satisfying to try to link the brain’s wetware to the mind’s software. Not just for the sake of connecting the mental realm to the physical, but because evidence from each domain helps constrain theories in the other, hopefully providing novel insights into both. Which brings me to my research...

Selected Publications

Sanders, K.G., Osburn, S., Paller, K., & Beeman, M. (2019). Targeted Memory Reactivation during Sleep Improves Next-Day Problem Solving. Psychological Science, 30, 1616-1624. doi:10.1177/0956797619873344

Cristofori, I., Salvi, C., Beeman, M. & Grafman, J. (2018). The effects of reward on problem solving. Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience, 18, 925-931. doi: 10.3758/s13415-018-0613-5.

Zabelina, D.L., Saporta, A., & Beeman, M. (2016). Broad or flexible attention in creative individuals? Distinct patterns of attention for different types of creative thinking. Memory & Cognition, 44, 488-498. doi:10.3758/s13421-015-0569-4  (Memory & Cognition Best Paper award, 2016)

Salvi, C., Bricolo, E., Franconeri, S., Kounios, J., Beeman, M. (2015). Sudden insight is associated with shutting out visual inputs. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 22, 1814-1819.

Kounios, J. & Beeman, M. (2014). The cognitive neuroscience of insight. Annual Review of Psychology, 65, 71-93. PMID: 24405359

Subramaniam, K., Kounios, J., Parrish, T.B., & Jung-Beeman, (2009). A brain mechanism for facilitation of insight by positive affect. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 21, 415-432.

Kounios, J., Frymiare, J.L., Bowden, E.M., Fleck, J.I., Subramaniam, K., Parrish, T.B., & Jung-Beeman, M. (2006). The prepared mind: Neural activity prior to problem presentation predicts solution by sudden insight. Psychological Science, 17, 882-890.

Jung-Beeman, M. (2005). Bilateral brain processes for comprehending natural language. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 9, 512-518

Jung-Beeman, M., Bowden, E.M., Haberman, J., Frymiare, J.L., Arambel-Liu, S., Greenblatt, R., Reber, P.J., & Kounios, J. (2004). Neural activity observed in people solving verbal problems with insight. Public Library of Science – Biology, 2, 500-510. PMID: 15094802


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