The Neuroscience of Divergent Thinking

Sureyya Yoruk, Mark Runco


Creativity plays a role in innovation, development, and health. Recent research has used neuroscientific methods to study originality, novelty, insight, divergent thinking, and other processes related to creative mental activity. Findings indicate that both hemispheres are involved in divergent thinking, which is accompanied by both event-related increases and decreases in the neural activation. Divergent thinking seems to be associated with high neural activation in the central, temporal, and parietal regions, indications of semantic processing and re-combination of semantically related information. Most of the research in this area has been done in the last 10 years, and very likely refining and standardizing DT testing and scoring will lead to additional insights about creativity.

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