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Trends Cogn Sci. 2016 Feb;20(2):87-95. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2015.10.004. Epub 2015 Nov 6.

Creative Cognition and Brain Network Dynamics.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC, USA. Electronic address: rebeaty@uncg.edu.
2
Department of Psychology, University of Graz, Graz, Austria.
3
Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC, USA.
4
Department of Psychology and Center for Brain Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA.

Abstract

Creative thinking is central to the arts, sciences, and everyday life. How does the brain produce creative thought? A series of recently published papers has begun to provide insight into this question, reporting a strikingly similar pattern of brain activity and connectivity across a range of creative tasks and domains, from divergent thinking to poetry composition to musical improvisation. This research suggests that creative thought involves dynamic interactions of large-scale brain systems, with the most compelling finding being that the default and executive control networks, which can show an antagonistic relation, tend to cooperate during creative cognition and artistic performance. These findings have implications for understanding how brain networks interact to support complex cognitive processes, particularly those involving goal-directed, self-generated thought.

KEYWORDS:

connectivity; creativity; expertise; imagination; improvisation; networks

PMID:
26553223
PMCID:
PMC4724474
DOI:
10.1016/j.tics.2015.10.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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