Creativity at rest: Exploring functional network connectivity of creative experts

William Orwig, Roni Setton, Ibai Diez, Elisenda Bueichekú, Meghan L. Meyer, Diana I. Tamir, Jorge Sepulcre, Daniel L. Schacter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The neuroscience of creativity seeks to disentangle the complex brain processes that underpin the generation of novel ideas. Neuroimaging studies of functional connectivity, particularly functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), have revealed individual differences in brain network organization associated with creative ability; however, much of the extant research is limited to laboratory-based divergent thinking measures. To overcome these limitations, we compare functional brain connectivity in a cohort of creative experts (n = 27) and controls (n = 26) and examine links with creative behavior. First, we replicate prior findings showing reduced connectivity in visual cortex related to higher creative performance. Second, we examine whether this result is driven by integrated or segregated connectivity. Third, we examine associations between functional connectivity and vivid distal simulation separately in creative experts and controls. In accordance with past work, our results show reduced connectivity to the primary visual cortex in creative experts at rest. Additionally, we observe a negative association between distal simulation vividness and connectivity to the lateral visual cortex in creative experts. Taken together, these results highlight connectivity profiles of highly creative people and suggest that creative thinking may be related to, though not fully redundant with, the ability to vividly imagine the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1022-1033
Number of pages12
JournalNetwork Neuroscience
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Applied Mathematics
  • General Neuroscience
  • Computer Science Applications


  • Creativity
  • Distal simulation
  • Functional connectivity
  • Vividness
  • fMRI


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