Network neuroscience of creative cognition: mapping cognitive mechanisms and individual differences in the creative brain

Roger E. Beaty, Paul Seli, Daniel L. Schacter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

12 Scopus citations


Network neuroscience research is providing increasing specificity on the contribution of large-scale brain networks to creative cognition. Here, we summarize recent experimental work examining cognitive mechanisms of network interactions and correlational studies assessing network dynamics associated with individual creative abilities. Our review identifies three cognitive processes related to network interactions during creative performance: goal-directed memory retrieval, prepotent-response inhibition, and internally-focused attention. Correlational work using prediction modeling indicates that functional connectivity between networks — particularly the executive control and default networks — can reliably predict an individual's creative thinking ability. We discuss potential directions for future network neuroscience, including assessing creative performance in specific domains and using brain stimulation to test causal hypotheses regarding network interactions and cognitive mechanisms of creative thought.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-30
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Behavioral Sciences
StatePublished - Jun 2019


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this