Influence of Creativity Stimulation on Brain Connectivity during Divergent Thinking Tasks
Keywords:Alternative uses task, Bayesian, Divergent thinking, Dynamic causal modelling, Effective connectivity
INTRODUCTION: Different facets of divergent thinking (DT) are associated with connectivity between different cerebral areas. However, the causal interactions between the key DT nodes have yet to be explored. It is hypothesised that with creativity stimulation, changes in effective connectivity among regions will be observed. MATERIALS AND METHODS: By using control (n=26) and experimental (n=24) participants, this study aimed to investigate the effective connectivity between brain areas associated with divergent thinking that accentuate fluency, flexibility, and originality. The experimental participants attended a two-day creativity stimulation, followed by three task-based fMRI sessions for all participants, which included basic use (BU) identification, alternative use (AU) generation and unusual use (UU) determination tasks. Dynamic causal modelling (DCM) was used to determine the most optimal causal model representing the most possible modulatory influence on the connections between medial prefrontal cortices (mPFC), inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), and inferior parietal lobule (IPL). RESULTS: The experimental participants scored higher fluency and flexibility than the controls (p<0.05). At neuronal level, the control group showed similar intrinsic connections receiving modulatory influence for AU and UU tasks, while the experimental group preferred a different perturbation of connection between both tasks. These intergroup differences may be caused by different thinking strategies involving semantic and episodic memory retrieval, and integration of remotely associated ideas to construct new combination among the experimental participants. CONCLUSION: Different DT demands may influence the effective connectivity between mPFC, IFG and IPL especially among individuals with higher DT abilities, especially in fluency and flexibility versus originality.
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