Nearly everyone has the ability for creative thought. Yet, certain individuals create works that propel their fields, challenge paradigms, and advance the world. What are the neurobiological factors that might underlie such prominent creative achievement? In this study, we focus on morphometric differences in brain structure between high creative achievers from diverse fields of expertise and a 'smart' comparison group of age-, intelligence-, and education-matched average creative achievers. Participants underwent a high-resolution structural brain imaging scan and completed a series of intelligence, creative thinking, personality, and creative achievement measures. We examined whether high and average creative achievers could be distinguished based on the relationship between morphometric brain measures (cortical area and thickness) and behavioral measures. Although participants' performance on the behavioral measures did not differ between the two groups aside from creative achievement, the relationship between posterior parietal cortex morphometry and creativity, intelligence, and personality measures depended on group membership. These results suggest that extraordinary creativity may be associated with measurable structural brain differences, especially within parietal cortex.
Chrysikou, Evangelia G; Wertz, Christopher; Yaden, David B; Kaufman, Scott Barry; Bacon, Donna; Wintering, Nancy; Jung, Rex E; and Newberg, MD, Andrew B., "Differences in brain morphometry associated with creative performance in high- and average-creative achievers." (2020). Department of Medicine Faculty Papers. Paper 268.
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