Noradrenergic modulation of creativity

Evidence from pupillometry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Creative people regulate their own attentional flexibility and focus in response to creative task demands in a way that favors the emergence of original and effective solutions. So far, not much is known about the neurobiological mechanisms that underlie such abilities. Here, the function of the locus coeruleus noradrenaline (LC-NA) system in creativity was explored using pupillometry. Two studies experimentally tested whether tonic pupil dilation (as a proxy for measuring tonic LC-NA activity) and phasic pupil dilation (as a proxy for measuring phasic LC-NA activity) predicted performance on divergent and convergent thinking using both psychometric (study 1) and real-world creativity tasks (study 2). During divergent thinking, it was consistently found that tonic pupil dilation predicted the generation of original ideas in both creativity tasks, and phasic pupil dilation predicted the generation of effective ideas only in the real-world creativity task. However, during convergent thinking, tonic and phasic pupil dilation did not predict creative task performance in both creativity tasks. Therefore, this study was the first to provide experimental evidence that suggests that tonic and phasic LC-NA activity differentially predict the generation of original and effective ideas during creative tasks that require divergent thinking.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-351
JournalCreativity Research Journal
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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Creativity
Locus Coeruleus
Dilatation
Proxy
Pupil
Tonic
Modulation
Locus

Cite this

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title = "Noradrenergic modulation of creativity: Evidence from pupillometry",
abstract = "Creative people regulate their own attentional flexibility and focus in response to creative task demands in a way that favors the emergence of original and effective solutions. So far, not much is known about the neurobiological mechanisms that underlie such abilities. Here, the function of the locus coeruleus noradrenaline (LC-NA) system in creativity was explored using pupillometry. Two studies experimentally tested whether tonic pupil dilation (as a proxy for measuring tonic LC-NA activity) and phasic pupil dilation (as a proxy for measuring phasic LC-NA activity) predicted performance on divergent and convergent thinking using both psychometric (study 1) and real-world creativity tasks (study 2). During divergent thinking, it was consistently found that tonic pupil dilation predicted the generation of original ideas in both creativity tasks, and phasic pupil dilation predicted the generation of effective ideas only in the real-world creativity task. However, during convergent thinking, tonic and phasic pupil dilation did not predict creative task performance in both creativity tasks. Therefore, this study was the first to provide experimental evidence that suggests that tonic and phasic LC-NA activity differentially predict the generation of original and effective ideas during creative tasks that require divergent thinking.",
author = "{de Rooij}, Alwin and Ruben Vromans and M. Dekker",
year = "2018",
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language = "English",
volume = "30",
pages = "339--351",
journal = "Creativity Research Journal",
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Noradrenergic modulation of creativity : Evidence from pupillometry. / de Rooij, Alwin; Vromans, Ruben; Dekker, M.

In: Creativity Research Journal, Vol. 30, No. 4, 2018, p. 339-351.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Noradrenergic modulation of creativity

T2 - Evidence from pupillometry

AU - de Rooij, Alwin

AU - Vromans, Ruben

AU - Dekker, M.

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AB - Creative people regulate their own attentional flexibility and focus in response to creative task demands in a way that favors the emergence of original and effective solutions. So far, not much is known about the neurobiological mechanisms that underlie such abilities. Here, the function of the locus coeruleus noradrenaline (LC-NA) system in creativity was explored using pupillometry. Two studies experimentally tested whether tonic pupil dilation (as a proxy for measuring tonic LC-NA activity) and phasic pupil dilation (as a proxy for measuring phasic LC-NA activity) predicted performance on divergent and convergent thinking using both psychometric (study 1) and real-world creativity tasks (study 2). During divergent thinking, it was consistently found that tonic pupil dilation predicted the generation of original ideas in both creativity tasks, and phasic pupil dilation predicted the generation of effective ideas only in the real-world creativity task. However, during convergent thinking, tonic and phasic pupil dilation did not predict creative task performance in both creativity tasks. Therefore, this study was the first to provide experimental evidence that suggests that tonic and phasic LC-NA activity differentially predict the generation of original and effective ideas during creative tasks that require divergent thinking.

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