Hemispheric lateralization for creative thinking remains a controversial topic. Early behavioral and neuroimaging research supported right hemisphere dominance in creative thinking, but more recent evidence suggests the left hemisphere plays an equally important role. In addition, the extent to which hemispheric lateralization in specific brain regions relates to individual creative ability, and whether hemispheric dominance relates to distinct task performance, remain poorly understood. Here, using multivariate predictive modeling of resting-state functional MRI data in a large sample of adults (N = 502), we estimated hemispheric segregation and integration for each brain region and investigated these lateralization indices with respect to individual differences in visuospatial and verbal divergent thinking. Our analyses revealed that individual visuospatial divergent thinking performance could be predicted by right-hemispheric segregation within the visual network, sensorimotor network, and some regions within the default mode network. High visuospatial divergent thinking was related to stronger functional connectivity between the visual network, fronto-parietal network, and default mode network within the right hemisphere. In contrast, high verbal divergent thinking performance could be predicted by inter-hemispheric balance within regions mainly involved in complex semantic processing (e.g., lateral temporal cortex and inferior frontal gyrus) and cognitive control processing (e.g., inferior frontal gyrus, middle frontal cortex, and superior parietal lobule). The current study suggests that two distinct forms of functional lateralization support individual differences in visuospatial and verbal divergent thinking. These findings have important implications for our understanding of hemispheric interaction mechanisms of creative thinking.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cognitive Neuroscience