In a new study, psychology and neuroscience researchers have started to identify thinking processes and brain regions involved with creativity, revealing why some people are more creative than others, reports The Conversation.
Roger Beaty, a postdoctoral researcher in Cognitive Neuroscience of Harvard University, along with his colleagues, conducted a study featuring 163 participants to complete a classic test of "divergent thinking," which asks people to think of new and unusual uses for objects. As they completed the test, they underwent fMRI scans, which measures blood flow to parts of the brain. Interestingly, they found that people who did better on this task also reported having more creative hobbies and achievements, showing that the task measures general creative thinking ability.
Upon measuring the brain's activity after the test, they found that the brain regions within the “high-creative” network belonged to three specific brain systems. The first is the default network which is a region that activates when people are engaged in daydreaming or imagining, followed by the executive control network, which activates when people need to focus or control their thought processes. Finally, the third is the salience network, a region that acts as a switching mechanism between the default and executive networks.
While further research is still needed, the researchers' other findings showed that creative brains are "wired" differently and that creative people are better able to engage brain systems that don’t typically work together. Recent fMRI studies of professional artists, including jazz musicians, poets, and visual artists reveal that these results are actually consistent with their findings.
For additional details, be sure to read the full story at The Conversation.
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