One of the most complex forms of creativity is musical improvisation where new music is produced in real time. Brain behavior during music production has several dimensions depending on the conditions of the performance. The expression of creativity is suspected to be different whether novel ideas must be externalized using a musical instrument or can be imagined internally. This study explores whole brain functional network connectivity from fMRI data during jazz music improvisation compared against a baseline of prelearned score performance. Given that creativity might be affected by external execution, another dimension where musicians imagine or vocalize the music was also tested. We found improvisation was associated with a state of weak connectivity necessary for attenuated executive control network recruitment associated with a feeling of “flow” allowing unhindered musical creation. In addition, elicited connectivity for sensorimotor and executive control networks is not different whether musicians imagine or externalize (through vocalization) musical performance.
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