Revealed the secret of creative thinking

A group of researchers representing the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, found out which mechanism is behind the creative thinking, that is a person’s ability to find unconventional approaches to various issues and tasks. As it turned out, creativity, first and foremost ensured by the interaction of three neural networks in the brain.


The study involved 163 people, each of whom spoke about their achievements in art and science, and also said how “creative” he said. The ability to creativity was tested with the help of quite popular in such cases, test volunteers were asked to name as many non-obvious ways of applying for those or other objects they were shown. After that, scientists have tried to understand how different the brain of participants that demonstrated the greatest creativity from the rest.

The results showed that creative thinking contributes to the active interaction of three neural networks. This so-called network of passive mode of operation of the brain (it is associated with empathy, and autobiographical memory), the Executive network responsible for cognitive activity, as well as salientia network, which allows focusing resources on the perception of the most important and relevant pieces of information received from the senses.

The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In October last year, a study was published by the Israeli experts from the Weizmann Institute have demonstrated that the so-called “placebo effect” can be observed even in that case, if we are talking about creative thinking. During the experiments, participants who felt that their creativity was enhanced through special vapors (actually did not have this effect) do more to effectively cope with creative tasks, than if breathed in the same pairs, but did not expect that they have some way to influence them. The researchers believe a similar result is another proof of that confidence is an important factor to achieve success.

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