Individual differences in verbal creative thinking are reflected in the precuneus

Qun Lin Chen, Ting Xu, Wen Jing Yang, Ya Dan Li, Jiang Zhou Sun, Kang Cheng Wang, Roger E. Beaty, Qing Lin Zhang, Xi Nian Zuo, Jiang Qiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


There have been many structural and functional imaging studies of creative thinking, but combining structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) investigations with respect to creative thinking is still lacking. Thus, the aim of the present study was to explore the associations among inter-individual verbal creative thinking and both regional homogeneity and cortical morphology of the brain surface. We related the local functional homogeneity of spontaneous brain activity to verbal creative thinking and its dimensions-fluency, originality, and flexibility-by examining these inter-individual differences in a large sample of 268 healthy college students. Results revealed that people with high verbal creative ability and high scores for the three dimensions of creativity exhibited lower regional functional homogeneity in the right precuneus. Both cortical volume and thickness of the right precuneus were positively associated with individual verbal creativity and its dimensions. Moreover, originality was negatively correlated with functional homogeneity in the left superior frontal gyrus and positively correlated with functional homogeneity in the right occipito-temporal gyrus. In contrast, flexibility was positively correlated with functional homogeneity in the left superior and middle occipital gyrus. These findings provide additional evidence of a link between verbal creative thinking and brain structure in the right precuneus-a region involved in internally-focused attention and effective semantic retrieval-and further suggest that local functional homogeneity of verbal creative thinking has neurobiological relevance that is likely based on anatomical substrates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-449
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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