Modulations in resting state networks of subcortical structures linked to creativity

Schuler, Anna-Lisa; Tik, Martin; Sladky, Ronald; Luft, Caroline Di Bernardi; Hoffmann, André; Woletz, Michael; Zioga, Ioanna; Bhattacharya, Joydeep and Windischberger, Christian. 2019. Modulations in resting state networks of subcortical structures linked to creativity. NeuroImage, 195, pp. 311-319. ISSN 1053-8119 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Creativity is a sine qua non ability for almost all aspects of everyday life. Although very profound behavioural models were provided by 21st century psychologists, the neural correlates of these personality features associated with creativity are largely unknown. Recent models suggest strong relationships between dopamine release and various creative skills. Herein, we employed functional connectivity analyses of resting-state functional magnetic imaging data in order to shed light on these neural underpinnings of creative aspects. For improved sensitivity, we performed the study at ultra-high magnetic field (7 T). Seed regions were defined based on subcortical (ventral tegmental area/substantia nigra, nucleus caudatus) activation foci of a remote associates task (RAT). In addition, bilateral PCC was used as seed region to examine the default-mode network. Network strength across subjects was regressed against a battery of psychological variables related to creativity. Dopaminergic network variations turned out to be indicative for individual differences in creative traits. In this regard, the caudate network showed stronger connectivity in individuals with higher extraversion measures, while connectivity with the midbrain network was found increased with higher ideational behaviour and emotional stability.

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Additional Information:

(i) Subcortical resting-state networks based on insight were investigated.
(ii) Midbrain connectivity increased in lVTA/SN-network with elevated ideation.
(iii) Prefrontal connectivity higher in lVTA/SN-network with higher emotional stability.
(iv) Putamen connectivity positively correlated with extraversion in caudate network.
(v) Link between creativity-related test measures and dopamine-associated brain areas.


Creativity, Brain, fMRI, Personality, Ideation, Network

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Psychology > Cognitive Neuroscience Unit


7 March 2019Accepted
29 March 2019Published Online
15 June 2019Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

03 Apr 2019 11:22

Last Modified:

11 Jun 2021 10:33

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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