Neuromodulation of Creative Cognition

Leveraging neuroimaging-based insights into the mechanisms of augmented state creativity (i.e., neural changes that lead to more creative thinking), we are conducting a suite of projects aimed at enhancing these endogenous mechanisms via exogenous modulation of brain function (Weinberger et al., 2017; 2018). This research has found that anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) targeting the same frontopolar brain region we have previously implicated in augmented state creativity (see Green 2016 for review) yielded more creative relational thinking, including formulation of more semantically distant analogical connections (Green et al. 2017).

Current projects in this area include:

  • Enhancing network connectivity that supports creative cognition via transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS). In collaboration with a consortium of researchers interested in neuromodulation-based creativity enhancement, we are testing the capacity of tACS to modulate connectivity between nodes of brain networks implicated in creative function.

  • Enhancing creative performance via transcranial direct current stimulation. In collaboration with Dr. Peter Turkeltaub of the Department of Neuroscience at Georgetown, we are investigating whether electrical neuromodulation of creativity-associated regional activity and network communication can bolster endogenous state changes that enable brains to reason more creatively. This work has implications not only for creativity in the healthy brain, but also for eliciting improved verbal performance in aphasic patients recovering from stroke.

  • Real-time neurofeedback-based enhancement of creative function. This work is using EEG and fNIRS readouts paired with real-time readouts of creative performance (based on semantic distance scoring), in conjunction with neuromodulation via tES and more exploratory techniques (e.g., photobiomodulation).