Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Design Creativity (ICDC 2020)

Year: 2020
Editor: Boujut, Jean-François ; Cascini, Gaetano ; Ahmed-Kristensen, Saeema ; Georgiev, Georgi V. ; Iivari, Netta
Author: Shealy, Tripp (1); Gero, John (2); Milovanovic, Julie (3); Hu, Mo (1) 
Series: ICDC
Institution: 1: Departement of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA; 2: Department of Computer Science and School of Architecture, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, USA; 3: Department of Architecture, Graduate School of Architecture and Ecole Centrale, Nantes, France
Page(s): 084-091
DOI number:


Ideation is a key phase in engineering design and brainstorming is an established method during ideation. The proposal of ideas tends to peak at the beginning of the brainstorming process and quickly decreases over time. In this preliminary study, we tested an innovative solution to sustain ideation by providing engineering designers feedback about their neuro-cognition. We used a novel neuro-imaging technique called functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to monitor engineering design students during a brainstorming task. Half were given real-time feedback about their brain activation. Our results show that these students applied more cognitive effort in the region of the brain generally associated with memory retrieval and making associations compared to the control group of students that were not provided neuro-feedback. Students that received neuro-feedback also generated significantly more concepts over time and displayed a higher fluency of engineering design solutions.

Keywords: neuro-cognitive feedback,  fNIRS,  design engineering,  creativity,  brainstorming


Please sign in to your account

This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyse your use of our products and services, assist with our promotional and marketing efforts, and provide content from third parties. Privacy Policy.