Yoed Nissan Kenett

Yoed Nissan Kenett
Technion - Israel Institute of Technology | technion · Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management

PhD

About

91
Publications
64,373
Reads
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2,672
Citations
Introduction
I examine how semantic memory structure enables and constrains high level cognitive processes, such as memory retrieval, creative thinking and social norms, in typical and clinical populations (such as persons with autism). To achieve this, I use computational methods to represent semantic memory structure and empirical neurocognitive methods to directly examine these computational findings. Such an approach allows direct examination of high level cognition across different levels of analysis.
Additional affiliations
August 2016 - February 2020
University of Pennsylvania
Position
  • PostDoc Position
October 2015 - July 2016
Brown University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
October 2011 - June 2014
Bar Ilan University
Position
  • Teacher Assistent
Education
October 2009 - October 2015
Bar Ilan University
Field of study
  • Neuroscience
October 2007 - October 2009
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Field of study
  • Cognitive Science
October 2004 - October 2007
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Field of study
  • Cognitive Science, Psychology

Publications

Publications (91)
Article
Full-text available
According to Mednick’s (1962) theory of individual differences in creativity, creative individuals appear to have a richer and more flexible associative network than less creative individuals. Thus, creative individuals are characterized by “flat” (broader associations) instead of “steep” (few, common associations) associational hierarchies. To stu...
Article
Full-text available
Creativity is related to a higher flexible semantic memory structure, which could explain greater fluency of ideas. Extensive research has identified a positive connection between creativity and bi-/multilingualism mainly in contexts where two languages or more concur in daily communicative interactions. Yet, creativity has received scant attention...
Article
Creative problem solving (CPS) in real-world contexts often relies on reorganization of existing knowledge to serve new, problem-relevant functions. However, classic creativity paradigms that minimize knowledge content are generally used to investigate creativity, including CPS. We argue that CPS research should expand consideration of knowledge-ri...
Article
Full-text available
Creative ideas likely result from searching and combining semantic memory knowledge, yet the mechanisms acting on memory to yield creative ideas remain unclear. Here, we identified the neurocognitive correlates of semantic search components related to creative abilities. We designed an associative fluency task based on polysemous words and distingu...
Article
Despite its theoretical importance, little is known about how semantic memory structure facilitates and constrains creative idea generation. We examine whether the semantic richness of a concept has both benefits and costs to creative idea generation. Specifically, we tested whether cue set size-an index of semantic richness reflecting the average...
Article
Full-text available
Knowledge modelling is a growing field at the fringe of computer science, psychology and network science [...]
Article
Aphasia has had a profound influence on our understanding of how language is instantiated within the human brain. Historically, aphasia has yielded an in vivo model for elucidating the effects of impaired lexical-semantic access on language comprehension and production. Aphasiology has focused intensively on single word dissociations. Yet, less is...
Article
Full-text available
Historically, psychedelic drugs are known to modulate cognitive flexibility, a central aspect of cognition permitting adaptation to changing environmental demands. Despite proof suggesting phenomenological similarities between artificially-induced and actual psychedelic altered perception, experimental evidence is still lacking about whether the fo...
Preprint
Full-text available
Cognitive science has seen a rapid evolution of the tools available for studying conceptual knowledge. Historically, much of our understanding of semantic memory has been informed through studies using language. Natural language processing (NLP) has offered groundbreaking techniques for elucidating relationships between concepts and language at unp...
Article
Full-text available
Associative theories of creativity argue that creative cognition involves the abilities to generate remote associations and make useful connections between unrelated concepts in one’s semantic memory. Yet, whether and how real-life creative behavior relies on semantic memory structure and its neural substrates remains unclear. We acquired multi-ech...
Article
Thinking is complex. Over the years, several types of methods and paradigms have developed across the psychological, cognitive, and neural sciences to study such complexity. A rapidly growing multidisciplinary quantitative field of network science offers quantitative methods to represent complex systems as networks, or graphs, and study the network...
Preprint
Full-text available
Music is a complex system consisting of many dimensions and hierarchically organized information—the organization of which, to date, we do not fully understand. Network science provides a powerful approach to representing such complex systems, from the social networks of people to modelling the underlying network structures of different cognitive m...
Article
To date, the application of semantic network methodologies to study cognitive processes in psychological phenomena has been limited in scope. One barrier to broader application is the lack of resources for researchers unfamiliar with the approach. Another barrier, for both the unfamiliar and knowledgeable researcher, is the tedious and laborious pr...
Preprint
Full-text available
Historically, psychedelic drugs are known to modulate cognitive flexibility, a central aspect of cognition permitting adaptation to changing environmental demands. Despite proof suggesting phenomenological similarities between artificially-induced and actual psychedelic altered perception, experimental evidence is still lacking about whether the fo...
Preprint
Full-text available
While problem-solving is central in our daily life, its underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown. Restructuration (i.e., reinterpretation and reorganization of problem-related representations) is theoretically considered as one such mechanism, yet empirical evidence supporting it is scarce. We investigated restructuration as a mechanism underly...
Article
Full-text available
Education is central to the acquisition of knowledge, such as when children learn new concepts. It is unknown, however, whether educational differences impact not only what concepts children learn, but how those concepts come to be represented in semantic memory—a system that supports higher cognitive functions, such as creative thinking. Here we l...
Preprint
Full-text available
How does aging affect facial attractiveness? We tested the hypothesis that people find older faces less attractive than younger faces, and furthermore, that these aging effects are modulated by the age and sex of the perceiver and by the specific kind of attractiveness judgment being made. Using empirical and computational network science methods,...
Article
Full-text available
How does aging affect facial attractiveness? We tested the hypothesis that people find older faces less attractive than younger faces, and furthermore, that these aging effects are modulated by the age and sex of the perceiver and by the specific kind of attractiveness judgment being made. Using empirical and computational network science methods,...
Article
Full-text available
Beauty and wellness are terms used often in common parlance, however their meaning and relation to each other is unclear. To probe their meaning, we applied network science methods to estimate and compare the semantic networks associated with beauty and wellness in different age generation cohorts (Generation Z, Millennials, Generation X, and Baby...
Article
Cognitive researchers often carve cognition up into structures and processes. Cognitive processes operate on structures, like vehicles driving over a map. Language alongside semantic and episodic memory are proposed to have structure, as are perceptual systems. Over these structures, processes operate to construct memory and solve problems by retri...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Norms are central to social life. They help people select actions that benefit the community and facilitate behavior prediction and coordination. However, little is known about the cognitive properties of norms. Here we focus on norm activation, context specificity, and how those properties differ for the two major types of norms: prescriptions and...
Preprint
Full-text available
Creative cognition relies on the ability to form remote associations between concepts, which allows to generate novel ideas or solve new problems. Such an ability is related to the organization of semantic memory; yet whether real-life creative behavior relies on semantic memory organization and its neural substrates remains unclear. Therefore, thi...
Article
Full-text available
An essential aspect of human communication is the ability to access and retrieve information from ones’ ‘mental lexicon’. This lexical access activates phonological and semantic components of concepts, yet the question whether and how these two components relate to each other remains widely debated. We harness tools from network science to construc...
Article
Full-text available
Older adults tend to have a broader vocabulary compared to younger adults –indicating a richer storage of semantic knowledge – but their retrieval abilities decline with age. Recent advances in quantitative methods based on network science have investigated the effect of aging on semantic memory structure. However, it is yet to be determined how th...
Article
Creative thinking is thought to be supported by both spontaneous associative and controlled executive processes. Recently, a new measure of associative cognition has been developed—forward flow—which uses computational semantic models (e.g., latent semantic analysis; LSA) to capture “how far” people travel in semantic space during a chained free as...
Article
Theories of the processes involved in creative cognition posit that cognitive control has a negative effect on creative idea generation but a positive effect on creative idea evaluation. Brain stimulation research has started to empirically examine the effects of cognitive control, with several reports of decreased cognitive control facilitating cr...
Article
Full-text available
Metaphors are a common way to express creative language, yet the cognitive basis of figurative language production remains poorly understood. Previous studies found that higher creative individuals can better comprehend novel metaphors, potentially due to a more flexible semantic memory network structure conducive to remote conceptual combination....
Presentation
Full-text available
Flexible Semantic Network Structure Supports Creative Metaphor Ability
Preprint
We do not simply have concepts; we use concepts. And, the way in which we use concepts can dynamically change the relations among them. One way to shed light on this dynamic nature is to examine how the novel processing of concepts-in our case, interpreting unfamiliar nominal compounds-might reconfigure semantic memory networks. We used network sci...
Article
Research has independently highlighted the roles of semantic memory and associative abilities in creative thinking. However, it remains unclear how these two capacities relate to each other, nor how they facilitate different creative thinking modalities, such as verbal and figural creativity. This study employed multiple cognitive tests and network...
Article
Full-text available
A central challenge for creativity research—as for all areas of experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience—is to establish a mapping between constructs and measures (i.e., identifying a set of tasks that best captures a set of creative abilities). A related challenge is to achieve greater consistency in the measures used by different resear...
Article
Forward flow is a new measure that quantifies free thought and predicts creativity (Gray et al., 2019). In his comment, Rossiter (2020) raises some conceptual and measurement concerns about this measure. We believe these concerns are specious, resting on fundamental misunderstandings about our aim and approach. This reply clarifies the nature of fo...
Article
Full-text available
Neurocognitive research is pertinent to developing mechanistic models of how humans generate creative thoughts. Such models usually overlook the role of the motor cortex in creative thinking. The framework of embodied or grounded cognition suggests that creative thoughts (e.g. using a shoe as a hammer, improvising a piano solo) are partially served...
Article
Full-text available
Increasing attention is being directed towards explicating the neurocognitive mechanisms of divergent thinking. While neuroimaging studies have tended to dominate the contemporary creativity literature, lesion studies provide important converging evidence by revealing the regions that are not only implicated in, but essential for, task performance....
Article
Creative language is defined as linguistic output that is both novel and appropriate. Metaphors are one such example of creative language in which one concept is used to express another by highlighting relevant semantic features. While novelty is an inherent property of unfamiliar metaphors, appropriateness depends on the context. The current study...
Article
Full-text available
Cognitive and neuroimaging evidence suggests that episodic and semantic memory—memory for autobiographical events and conceptual meaning, respectively—support different facets of creative thinking, with a growing number of studies reporting activation of brain regions within the default network during performance on creative thinking tasks. The pre...
Article
In the present study we devised a novel coding scheme for responses generated in a divergent thinking task. Based on considerations from behavioural and neurocognitive research from an embodied perspective, our scheme aims to capture dimensions of simulations of action or the body. In an exploratory investigation, we applied our novel coding scheme...
Article
Recent studies have provided insight into inter-individual differences in creative thinking, focusing on characterizations of distributed large-scale brain networks both at the local level of regions and their pairwise interactions and at the global level of the brain as a whole. However, it remains unclear how creative thinking relates to mesoscal...
Article
Full-text available
People spend considerable time within built environments. In this study, we tested two hypotheses about the relationship between people and built environments. First, aesthetic responses to architectural interiors reduce to a few key psychological dimensions that are sensitive to design features. Second, these psychological dimensions evoke specifi...
Chapter
Many clinical groups exhibit atypical thought, language, and communication skills. However, these deficencies have been examined only indirectly via behavioral means. In this chapter we describe the developing field of Clinical Cognitive Network (CCN) analysis, which applies computational network science methodologies to examine clinical population...
Article
art paintings, global image properties, and verbal descriptions: An empirical and computational investigation Abstract art Network Description Image properties ABSTRACT While global image properties (GIPs) relate to preference ratings in many categories of visual stimuli, this relationship is typically not seen for abstract art paintings. Using com...
Preprint
To date, the application of semantic network methodologies to study cognitive processes in psychological phenomena has been limited in scope. One barrier to broader application is the lack of resources for researchers unfamiliar with the approach. Another barrier, for both the unfamiliar and knowledgeable researcher, is the tedious and laborious pr...
Preprint
Creative language is defined as linguistic output that is both novel and appropriate. Metaphors are one such example of creative language in which one concept is used to express another by highlighting certain semantic features. While novelty is an inherent property of unfamiliar metaphors, appropriateness depends on the context. The current study...
Article
Full-text available
Previous studies have shown how individual differences in creativity relate to differences in the structure of semantic memory. However, the latter is only one aspect of the whole mental lexicon, a repository of conceptual knowledge that is considered to simultaneously include multiple types of conceptual similarities. In the current study, we appl...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Creative thinking has long been associated with spreading of activation through concepts within semantic networks. Here we examine one potential influence on spreading activation known as the fan effect: increasing concept knowledge leads to increasing interference from related concepts. We tested whether cue association size-an index of semantic r...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The associative theory of creativity suggests that creative abilities rely on the organization of semantic associations in memory. Recent research has demonstrated that semantic network methods allow testing this hypothesis. The aim of the current study was to investigate the properties of semantic networks at the individual level, in relation to c...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The aim of the current symposia is to demonstrate the potential and strength of applying network science methodologies to study cognition. This will be achieved by bringing together leading researchers that apply such methods to study various aspects of cognition, including language, learning, aging, and creativity. The presentations will describe...
Article
Full-text available
When the human mind is free to roam, its subjective experience is characterized by a continuously evolving stream of thought. Although there is a technique that captures people’s streams of free thought—free association—its utility for scientific research is undermined by two open questions: 1) How can streams of thought be quantified? and 2) Do su...
Article
Full-text available
Network science provides a set of quantitative methods to investigate complex systems, including human cognition. Although cognitive theories in different domains are strongly based on a network perspective, the application of network science methodologies to quantitatively study cognition has so far been limited in scope. This review demonstrates...
Article
Semantic distance plays an important role in the creative process: The farther one “moves away” from a conventional idea, the more creative the new idea will likely be. Although intuitive, the role of semantic distance in creativity has been only indirectly examined due to the challenge of its measurement. Recent studies have started applying quant...
Article
Full-text available
The field of cognitive aging has seen considerable advances in describing the linguistic and semantic changes that happen during the adult life span to uncover the structure of the mental lexicon (i.e., the mental repository of lexical and conceptual representations). Nevertheless, there is still debate concerning the sources of these changes, incl...
Preprint
Full-text available
Creative thinking has long been associated with spreading of activation through concepts within semantic memory. Despite its theoretical importance, little is yet known about how semantic memory structure facilitates and constrains idea production. We examine one potential influence on spreading activation during divergent thinking known as the fan...
Preprint
Full-text available
The field of cognitive aging has seen considerable advances in describing the linguistic and semantic changes that happen during the adult life span to uncover the structure of the mental lexicon (i.e., the mental repository of lexical and conceptual representations). Nevertheless, there is still debate concerning the sources of these changes, incl...
Article
The role of semantic memory in creativity is theoretically assumed, but far from understood. In recent years, computational network science tools have been applied to investigate this role. These studies shed unique quantitative insights on the role of semantic memory structure in creativity, via measures of connectivity, distance, and structure.
Article
Schizotypy is a multidimensional construct that provides a useful framework for understanding the etiology, development, and risk for schizophrenia-spectrum disorders. Past research has applied traditional methods, such as factor analysis, to uncovering common dimensions of schizotypy. In the present study, we aimed to advance the construct of schi...
Article
Rumination and impaired inhibition are considered core characteristics of depression. However, the neurocognitive mechanisms that contribute to these atypical cognitive processes remain unclear. To address this question, we apply a computational network control theory (NCT) approach to structural brain imaging data acquired via diffusion tensor ima...
Preprint
Full-text available
Network science provides a set of quantitative methods to investigate complex systems, including human cognition. Although cognitive theories in different domains are strongly based on a network perspective, the application of network science methodologies to quantitatively study cognition has so far been limited in scope. This review demonstrates...
Article
High-level cognitive constructs, such as creativity and intelligence, entail complex and multiple processes, including cognitive control processes. Recent neurocognitive research on these constructs highlight the importance of dynamic interaction across neural network systems and the role of cognitive control processes in guiding such a dynamic int...
Chapter
Semantic memory plays a role in the creative process, either as an integral component or as the basis upon which executive functions operate on. Yet, due to the challenge of representing semantic memory, the relationship between semantic memory and creativity has not been thoroughly investigated. In recent years, computational network science tools...
Article
This version of record is a post-peer review preprint of an article accepted by the European Journal of Personality. It may not represent the final published manuscript that is available through the journal (doi: 10.1002/per.2157). Data, R code, cleaning procedures, and analysis methods are all openly available on the Open Science Framework: https:...
Article
Full-text available
The comprehension of metaphors involves the ability to activate a broader, more flexible set of semantic associations in order to integrate the meanings of the weakly related parts of the metaphor into a meaningful linguistic expression. Previous findings point to a relation between levels of creativity and efficiency in processing metaphoric expre...
Chapter
Full-text available
The neurocognitive research of creativity is making progress in examining the contribution of various cognitive processes and capacities, such as executive functions (working memory, fluid intelligence, switching), personality traits (openness to experience), attention, inhibition, and episodic memory to creativity. Several classic and more recent...