In a new study, my colleagues and I examined whether a person’s creative thinking ability can be explained, in part, by a connection between three brain networks. We further tested whether we could predict creative thinking ability in three new samples of participants whose brain data were not used in building the network model. The default network is a set of brain regions that activate when people are engaged in spontaneous thinking, such as mind-wandering, daydreaming and imagining. The executive control network is a set of regions that activate when people need to focus or control their thought processes. Our results suggest that creative people are better able to co-activate brain networks that usually work separately.
Does taking drawing classes lead to greater connectivity within these brain networks? Is it possible to boost general creative thinking ability by modifying network connections?
As researchers, we just need to engage our own creative networks to figure out how to answer them.