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Neuroscience of Creativity$
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Oshin Vartanian, Adam S. Bristol, and James C. Kaufman

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780262019583

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262019583.001.0001

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Creativity and Intelligence: Brain Networks That Link and Differentiate the Expression of Genius

Creativity and Intelligence: Brain Networks That Link and Differentiate the Expression of Genius

(p.233) 11 Creativity and Intelligence: Brain Networks That Link and Differentiate the Expression of Genius
Neuroscience of Creativity

Rex E. Jung

Richard J. Haier

The MIT Press

Based on neuro-imaging findings, we present a brain model for intelligence and a model for creativity and discuss how genius may emerge from the overlapping and the unique aspects of these models. Intelligence is associated with integrity of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and creative achievement with lower volumes of the orbitofrontal cortex. Increased creative drive sometimes associated with frontotemporal dementia is related to damage in the left anterior temporal lobe. Intelligence is also associated with integrity of white-matter tracts including the arcuate fasciculus and corpus callosum. Divergent thinking and openness to experience are associated with lower measures of integrity within white-matter tracts linking the thalamus with frontal projection zones. Although there is some overlap, intelligence and creativity appear to involve largely different brain networks. The intelligence findings suggest the importance of network integrity that may facilitate knowledge acquisition and retention. The creativity findings suggest a disinhibition of networks that facilitates the generation of novel associations among knowledge stores. Whether there is a specific network for genius is not yet apparent. Complex phenomena like intelligence, creativity, and genius can be studied scientifically with modern neuroscience methods even as their definitions evolve with better empirical observations.

Keywords:   Intelligence, Genius, Creativity, Neuroimaging, Brain networks, Disinhibition, Frontotemporal dementia, Einstein’s brain, Divergent thinking

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