Creative People Have Better-Connected Brains

Creative People Have Better-Connected Brains
An MRI technique called diffusion tensor imaging traces the bundles of nerve fibers that carry electrical signals between different areas of the brain. Credit: Thomas Schultz, Wikimedia Commons

The seeds of creativity live in everyone. In fact, every business requires creative people in the form of scientists, engineers, medical researchers, technology innovators, business entrepreneurs, artists, performers, writers and illustrators, designers, inventors, educators, and parents. Creative people always thinks outside of the box. They invent, imagine, problem-solve, create, and communicate in fresh, new ways. A research suggests that how well the two brain hemispheres communicate that sets highly creative people apart.

A Scientist from the Duke University in collaboration with a scientist from the University of Padova conducted a study. In that study, they studied the network of white matter connections among 68 separate brain regions. For that purpose, they involved college-age volunteers.

To collect the data, scientists used an MRI technique called diffusion tensor imaging. The technique allows researchers to an MRI technique called diffusion tensor imaging. The computers then adjust them through each of the 1-gigabyte scans. It then converts them to three-dimensional maps by wiring diagrams of the brain. The computer also identifies the differences in brain structure.

Scientists then tested volunteer’s creativity by conducting various tests. Some measured a type of problem-solving called divergent thinking of volunteers. They asked people to draw as many geometric designs as they could in five minutes. In addition, they also asked volunteers to make a list of everyday objects. The volunteers filled out a questionnaire about their achievements in ten areas. For example, the visual arts, music, creative writing, dance, cooking, and science.

Creative People Have Better-Connected Brains
Highly creative people have significantly more white matter connections (shown in green) between the right and left hemispheres of the brain, according to a new analysis. Credit: Daniele Durante, University of Padova

Joshua Vogelstein of Johns Hopkins University said, “Data sharing in neuroscience is increasingly more common as compared to only five years ago.

When computer analyzes the result, it did not found any differences in connectivity within hemispheres. But when scientists compared people who scored in the top 15 percent on the creativity tests, they found that high-scoring people had significantly more connections between the right and left hemispheres. Scientists used results to calculate a composite creativity score for each person.

Scientists are now developing statistical methods to find out whether brain connectivity varies with I.Q. Most of the statistical methods estimate properties of single brains. For example, it shows which regions serve as highly connected hubs. But each person’s brain is wired differently. And techniques for identifying similarities and differences in connectivity across individuals and between groups have lagged behind.