Roger E. Beaty, Hannah M. Merseal, Daniel C. Zeitlen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


The research on the network neuroscience of creativity assesses coordinated neural activity across multiple brain regions to examine how these regions dynamically interact to give rise to creative thinking and behavior. Of the brain’s several networks, two have consistently been implicated in the creativity neuroscience literature: the default network (DN) and the executive control network (ECN). Although these networks support seemingly opposing modes of cognition-DN supports spontaneous thought and ECN supports cognitive control-their coordination is reliably reported across studies, indicating that they reflect a core neural mechanism of creativity. This chapter summarizes network neuroscience research on creativity, focusing on domain-general creative cognition and domain-specific creative performance. Within the domain-general literature, we highlight two main lines of research: (1) neurocognitive mechanisms of creative cognition (linking brain network connectivity to specific cognitive processes relevant for creative thought); and (2) individual differences in brain network connectivity and creative ability (linking brain network characteristics to individual creative abilities). Within the domain-specific literature, we highlight three creative domains: (1) music improvisation; (2) figural creativity (e.g., artistic drawing); and (3) literary creativity. Throughout this chapter, we discuss common themes and consistent findings across the domain-general and domain-specific literatures. We also identify limitations of creativity neuroscience and offer some directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Routledge International Handbook of Creative Cognition
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781000917284
ISBN (Print)9780367443788
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology

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