Research Interests

I’m interested in studying the neural mechanisms underlying Insight problem solving and creativity: how an idea is born, emerges, and develops in our mind. My research specializes in three main aspects of it:

1) The role played by the reward circuit and the dopamine system in creativity and Insight problem solving.

2) The involvement of the vision-system in Insight problem solving. “People often report having their best creative ideas while they are shutting their eyes, looking at a white wall, or out the window.” My research focuses on understanding what are the attentive correlates of this modulation.

3) The feeling of certainty that accompanying creative ideas. My research investigates if it actually corresponds to an increased accuracy in people’s responses, and how that certainty relates to motivation and risk taking in pursuit of ideas. My work includes also the first Italian validation of the Compound Remote Associates problems and the Rebus Puzzles, enabling researchers to investigate Insight problem solving among Italian speakers.

Selected Works

Salvi, C., Bowden, E. & Beeman, M. (In preparation). The link between risk taking and Aha! moments

Santarnecchi, E., Sprugnoli, G., Bricolo, E., Constantini, G., Liew, S. L., Musaeus, C. S., Salvi, C., Pascual-Leone, A., Rossi A. & Rossi, S. (under submission). Transcranial Oscillatory Neuromodulation Of Insight Problem Solving abilities.

Salvi, C., Costantini, G., Pace, A. & Palmieri , M. (submitted). Item-response theory approach to the validation of the Italian Remote Associate Task and of the Anagram Task.

Cristofori, I., Salvi, C.,  Beeman, M. & Grafman, J. (submitted). Subliminal rewards improve Insights.

Hogeveen, J., Salvi, C., & Grafman, J. (2016). “Emotional intelligence”: Lessons from Lesions. Trends in Neurosciences, 39(10), 694–705.

Palmiero, M., Piccardi, L., Nori, R., Palermo, L., Salvi, C., Guariglia, C. (2016) Editorial: Creativity and Mental Imagery. Frontiers in Psychology. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01280. PMID: 27610094

Salvi, C., Bowden, E. (2016). Looking Nowhere for Creativity: Where do we look when we look for new ideas? Frontiers in Psychology · doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00161

Salvi, C., Bricolo, E., Bowden, E., Kounios, J. & Beeman, M. (2016)Insight solutions are correct more often than those achieved by analysis. Thinking and Reasoning. doi:10.1080/13546783.2016.1141798

Salvi, C., Cristofori, I., Beeman, M. & Grafman, J. (2016). The politic of insight. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. doi: 10.1080/17470218.2015.1136338.

Salvi, C., Bricolo, E., Franconeri, S., Kounios, J. & Beeman, M. (2015) Sudden Insight is associated with shutting down visual inputs. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. doi: 10.3758/ s13423-015-0845-0

Salvi, C., Costantini, G., Bricolo, E., Perugini, M., & Beeman, M. (2015) Rebus puzzles and compound remote associate problems: an Italian version. Behavioral Research Methods. 1-22. doi: 10.3758/s13428-015-0597-9

Salvi, C., (2015). “Aha! ho indovinato” Cosa avviane nel nostro cervello quando abbiamo un lampo di genio. AIRInforma Journal. 
(“Aha! I got it” What happens in our brain when we have an insight).

Bricolo, E., Salvi, C., Martelli, M., Arduino, L. S. & Daini, R. (2015). The effects of crowding on eye movement patterns in reading. Acta, Psychologica, 160, 23-34. doi: 10.1016/j.actpsy. 2015.06.003

Bricolo, E., Salvi, C., Martelli, M., Arduino, L.S., & Daini, R. (2010). Crowding affects eye- movements patterns in word reading. Perception 39, supplement, 29. 10281/21692

Legrenzi, P., & Salvi, C. (2008). Dual processes in reasoning and judgment. SISTEMI INTELLIGENTI /a. XX, n. 1, April 2008. Il Mulino: Bologna. doi: 10.1422/26719


Contemporary art, Street Photography and Cinema.

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