Neural and cognitive mechanisms of creativity

Leiden Repository

Neural and cognitive mechanisms of creativity

Type: Doctoral Thesis
Title: Neural and cognitive mechanisms of creativity
Author: Akbari, S.
Issue Date: 2011-10-25
Keywords: Cognitive control
Convergent thinking
Divergent thinking
Eye Blink Rate
Positive mood
Abstract: The studies of this thesis provide empirical evidence that creativity is not a homogeneous concept; rather it reflects the interplay of separate, dissociable processes such as convergent and divergent thinking (e.g., Guilford, 1967). The cognitive mechanism of these two processes is different, but not opposite as assumed by Eysenck (1993). The results suggest that divergent and convergent thinking are both related to dopamine, but to different degrees and in different ways. It was observed that eye-blink rate was predicting creative performance, which provides strong support for approaches that relate creativity to dopamine (Ashby et al., 1999). However, the obtained dissociation calls for a more differentiated approach that distinguishes between convergent and divergent processes and allows for tapping different creativity-dopamine functions. The findings of this thesis also suggest that convergent thinking induces a control state that emphasizes the top-down biasing of creative solutions and/or local competition between them, whereas divergent thinking is associated with reduced top-down control and/or local competition. Taken together, results of four studies presented in this thesis show that convergent and divergent thinking are not necessarily opposite but they are not the same either, and optimal performance in different types of creativity tasks requires different conditions.
Promotor: Supervisor: Hommel B.
Faculty: Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
University: Leiden University

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application/pdf Title page_Contents 46.41Kb View/Open
application/pdf Chapter 1 General introduction 192.6Kb View/Open
application/pdf Chapter 2 184.2Kb View/Open
application/pdf Chapter 3 317.3Kb View/Open Full text at publisher site
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application/pdf Chapter 7 125.5Kb View/Open
application/pdf Summary in Dutch 38.12Kb View/Open
application/pdf Acknowledgements_Curriculum vitae 21.23Kb View/Open
application/pdf Propositions 50.15Kb View/Open

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