Creative Control: A Neurocognitive Index of Relationships Between Creativity and Attention

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Ahsan, Naba




The relationship between attention and creativity in task-dependent situations is unclear. Previous work has shown that defocused attention is associated with divergent thinking and that focused attention is associated with convergent thinking. To address this discrepancy, we assess relationships between early forms of attention (sensory gating) and standardized creative thinking tasks. Attention is indexed by the P50 ERP component. Creative performance is tested in divergent and convergent thinking domains using the ATTA and CRA, respectively, as well as a convergent thinking, non-creative task. We present a correlational analysis between attentional style and creative performance from 22 participants. Our results show that defocused attention enhances divergent thinking, and that focused attention enhances convergent thinking, in both creative and non-creative domains. Furthermore, we demonstrate the utility of the P50 in creativity studies and suggest a methodological contribution that will extend current approaches to extracting P50 values.


Psychology - Cognitive
Psychology - Experimental




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Cognitive Science: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Cognitive Science

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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