Mark Beeman Professor

Program Area(s):

Cognitive; Brain, Behavior and Cognition

Interest(s):

Brain bases of language; creative thinking

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

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

Virtue, S., Parrish, T., & Jung-Beeman, M. (2008). Inferences during story comprehension: Cortical recruitment affected by predictability of events and working-memory capacity . Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 20, 2274-2284.

Jung-Beeman, M., Collier, A., & Kounios, J. (2008). How insight happens: learning from the brain. NeuroLeadership Journal, 1, 20-25.

Kounios, J. & Jung-Beeman, M. (In press). The Aha! moment: The cognitive neuroscience of insight. Current Directions in Psychological Science.

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. PLOS Website http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pbio.0020097

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. PDF http://groups.psych.northwestern.edu/mbeeman/documents/PsychSci_2006_Kounios_MJB.pdf

Virtue, S., Haberman, J., Clancy, Z., Parrish, T., & Jung-Beeman, M. (2006). Neural activity of inferences during story comprehension. Brain Research, 1084, 104-114. PDF http://groups.psych.northwestern.edu/mbeeman/documents/Virtue_MJB_inf_BrRes_000.pdf

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

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