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J Neurol Sci. 2009 Jan 15;276(1-2):179-83. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2008.09.026. Epub 2008 Oct 25.

Creativity in Parkinson's disease as a function of right versus left hemibody onset.

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University of Florida, Department of Neurology, and Center for Neuropsychological Studies, Gainesville, FL 32610-0236, USA.



Creativity is heavily dependent on divergent thinking and divergent thinking appears to be strongly dependent on fontal lobe function. Since patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) often have evidence of frontal lobe dysfunction we wanted to learn if these patients have a reduction of creativity, as well as learning if the side of onset (right versus left) influences the type (verbal versus visuospatial) of decrement in creativity.


Participants of this study were patients with right (RHO) or left (LHO) onset PD as well as matched controls. All subjects were given the Abbreviated Torrance Test of Creative Thinking for Adults (ATTA), a widely used test to assess creativity that examines Fluency, Originality, Flexibility and Elaboration. Subjects were also assessed with the Controlled Word Association Test (COWAT).


When compared to controls the patients with RHO, but not LHO, had a decrease of verbal creative fluency. Patients with PD often have a decrease on the COWAT, but performance on the COWAT did not differ between the RHO and the LHO patients. This suggests that patients with PD who have RHO have a decrease in verbal creativity and this decrement does not appear to be related to decreased fluency.

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