Mind the gap: An attempt to bridge computational and neuroscientific approaches to study creativity

Wiggins, Geraint and Bhattacharya, Joydeep. 2014. Mind the gap: An attempt to bridge computational and neuroscientific approaches to study creativity. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8, 540. ISSN 1662-5161 [Article]

Text (Mind the gap: An attempt to bridge computational and neuroscientific approaches to study creativity)
PSY-Bhattacharya-2014.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (870kB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

Creativity is the hallmark of human cognition and is behind every innovation, scientific discovery, piece of music, artwork, and idea that have shaped our lives, from ancient times till today. Yet scientific understanding of creative processes is quite limited, mostly due to the traditional belief that considers creativity as a mysterious puzzle, a paradox, defying empirical enquiry. Recently, there has been an increasing interest in revealing the neural correlates of human creativity. Though many of these studies, pioneering in nature, help demystification of creativity, but the field is still dominated by popular beliefs in associating creativity with “right brain thinking”, “divergent thinking”, “altered states” and so on (Dietrich and Kanso, 2010). In this article, we discuss a computational framework for creativity based on Baars’ Global Workspace Theory (GWT; Baars, 1988) enhanced with mechanisms based on information theory. Next we propose a neurocognitive architecture of creativity with a strong focus on various facets (i.e., unconscious thought theory, mind wandering, spontaneous brain states) of un/pre-conscious brain responses. Our principal argument is that pre-conscious creativity happens prior to conscious creativity and the proposed computational model may provide a mechanism by which this transition is managed. This integrative approach, albeit unconventional, will hopefully stimulate future neuroscientific studies of the inscrutable phenomenon of creativity.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


Additional Information:

Both authors’ were funded by EPSRC Research Grant EP/H01294X, “Information and neural dynamics in the perception of musical structure”. The first author was further funded by Lrn2Cre8 ConCreTe, and the second author was funded by CREAM. The projects Lrn2Cre8 and ConCreTe acknowledge the financial support of the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) program within the Seventh Framework Program for Research of the European Commission, under FET grant numbers 610859 and 611733, respectively. The CREAM project has been funded with support from the European Commission under Grant Agreement no. 612022. This publication reflects the views only of the authors, and the European Commission cannot be held responsi- ble for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


creativity, neuroscience, psychology, computational modeling, methodology

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



24 July 2014Published
2 July 2014Accepted

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

05 Sep 2014 15:00

Last Modified:

03 Aug 2021 15:05

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)