Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Brain Res. 2012 Jan 9;1430:52-61. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2011.10.031. Epub 2011 Oct 20.

Using a shoe as a plant pot: neural correlates of passive conceptual expansion.

Author information

  • 1Department of Clinical Psychology, Justus-Liebig University of Giessen, Germany.


Conceptual expansion is a key process that underlies our ability to think creatively. In the present event-related fMRI study, a modified Alternate Uses Task was used to identify brain regions involved during passive conceptual expansion and thereby separately assess the effects of the two defining elements of creative output: Originality (unusualness) and Relevance (appropriateness). Participants viewed word pairs consisting of an object and a use and indicated whether the given use was unusual and/or appropriate for the given object. Trials with object-use combinations judged as unusual and appropriate (HUHA) were contrasted against trials judged as just unusual but inappropriate (HULA) or just appropriate but not unusual (LUHA). As hypothesized, conceptual expansion related activation (HUHA) was found in the bilateral inferior frontal gyrus (BA 45, 47), left temporal pole (BA 38) and left frontopolar cortex (BA 10). We discuss the specific contributions of these regions with reference to semantic cognition.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk