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  1. Gero, John S. (Ed.)
    To explore the connection between brain and behavior in engineering design, this study measured the change in neurocognition of engineering students while they developed concept maps. Concept maps help designers organize complex ideas by illustrating components and relationships. Student concept maps were graded using a pre-established scoring method and compared to their neurocognitive activation. Results show significant correlations between performance and neurocognition. Concept map scores were positively correlated with activation in students’ prefrontal cortex. A prominent sub-region was the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), which is generally associated with divergent thinking and cognitive flexibility. Student scores were negatively correlated with measures of brain network density. The findings suggest a possible neurocognitive mechanism for better performance. More research is needed to connect brain activation to the cognitive activi-ies that occur when designing but these results provide new evidence for the brain functions that support the development of complex ideas during design. 
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  2. Gero, John S. (Ed.)
    In this paper, we explored changes in brain states over time while designers were generating concepts. Participants either used morphological analysis or TRIZ to develop a design concept for two design tasks. While designing, participants’ brain activation in their prefrontal cortex (PFC) was monitored with a functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy machine. To identify variation in brain states, we analyzed changes in brain networks. Using k-mean clustering to classify brain networks for each task revealed four brain network patterns. While using morphological analysis, the occurrence of each pattern was similar along the design steps. For TRIZ, some brain states dominated depending on the design step. Drain states changes suggests that designers alternate engaging certain subregions of the PFC. This approach to studying brain behavior provides a more granular understanding of the evolution of design brain states over time. Findings add to the growing body of research exploring design neurocognition. 
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  3. ASEE (Ed.)
    The purpose of this study was to measure the neurocognitive effects of think aloud when engineering students were designing. Thinking aloud is a commonly applied protocol in engineering design education research. The process involves students verbalizing what they are thinking as they perform a task. Students are asked to say what comes into their mind. This often includes what they are looking at, thinking, doing, and feeling. It provides insight into the student’s mental state and their cognitive processes when developing design ideas. Think aloud provides a richer understanding about how, what and why students’ design compared to solely evaluating their final product or performance. The results show that Ericsson and Simon's claim that there is no interference due to think-aloud is not supported by this study and more research is required to untangle the effect of think-aloud. 
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  4. ASEE (Ed.)
    The purpose of the research presented in this poster was to measure the change in neurocognitive processing that occurs from concept mapping in students’ brains. The research question is what are the effects of concept mapping on students’ neurocognition when developing design problem statements? We explored changes in students’ prefrontal cortex (PFC). The PFC is the neural basis of working memory and higher order cognitive processing, such as sustained attention, reasoning, and evaluations. Specific regions of interest in the PFC are illustrated. 
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  5. ASCE (Ed.)
    The research presented in this paper explores the effect of concept maps on students’ neurocognition when constructing engineering problem statements. In total, 66 engineering students participated in the experiment. Half of the students were asked to create a concept map illustrating all of the systems and stakeholders represented in a building on campus. The other half of students were not asked to draw a concept map. Both groups were then asked to construct an engineering problem statement about improvements to the building. While performing the problem statement task, their neurocognitive activation in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) was measured using a non-intrusive neuroimaging technique called functional near-infrared spectroscopy. The students that were asked to complete the concept mapping task required less cognitive effort to formulate and analyze their problem statements. The specific regions that were less activated were regions of the brain generally associated with working memory and problem evaluation. These results provide new insight into the changes in mental processing that occurs when using tools like concept maps and may provide helpful techniques for students to structure engineering problems. 
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  6. The research presented in this paper explores features of temporal design neurocognition by comparing regions of activation in the brain during concept generation. A total of 27 engineering graduate students used brainstorming, morphological analysis, and TRIZ to generate concepts to design problems. Students' brain activation in their prefrontal cortex (PFC) was measured using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Temporal activations were compared between techniques. When using brainstorming and morphological analysis, highly activated regions are consistently situated in the medial and right part of the PFC over time. For both techniques, the temporal neuro-physiological patterns are similar. Cognitive functions associated to the medial and right part of the PFC suggest an association with divergent thinking and adaptive decision making. In contrast, highly activated regions over time when using TRIZ appear in the medial or the left part of the prefrontal cortex, usually associated with goal directed planning. 
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  7. The Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ) method and toolkit provides a well-structured approach to support engineering design with pre-defined steps: interpret and define the problem, search for standard engineering parameters, search for inventive principles to adapt, and generate final solutions. The research presented in this paper explores the neurocognitive differences of each of these steps. We measured the neuro-cognitive activation in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of 30 engineering students. Neuro-cognitive activation was recorded while students completed an engineering design task. The results show a varying activation pattern. When interpreting and defining the problem, higher activation is found in the left PFC, generally associated with goal directed planning and making analytical judgement when interpreting and defining the problem. Neuro-cognitive activation shifts to the right PFC during the search process, a region usually involved in exploring the problem space. During solution generation more activation occurs in the medial PFC, a region generally related to making associations. The findings offer new insights and evidence explaining the dynamic neuro-cognitive activations when using TRIZ in engineering design. 
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  8. Abstract In this paper, we present results from an experiment using EEG to measure brain activity and explore EEG frequency power associated with gender differences of professional industrial designers while performing two prototypical stages of constrained and open design tasks, problem-solving and design sketching. Results indicate no main effect of gender. However, among other main effects, a consistent main effect of hemisphere for the six frequency bands under analysis was found. In the problem-solving stage, male designers show higher alpha and beta bands in channels of the prefrontal cortices and female designers in the right occipitotemporal cortex and secondary visual cortices. In the design sketching stage, male designers show higher alpha and beta bands in the right prefrontal cortex, and female designers in the right temporal cortex and left prefrontal cortex, where higher theta is also found. Prioritising different cognitive functions seem to play a role in each gender's approach to constrained and open design tasks. Results can be useful to design professionals, students and design educators, and for the development of methodological approaches in design research and education. 
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