Can we increase creative performance through the training of specific brain dynamics?
A new article published on Neuropsychologia by MIC describes an innovative neurofeedback procedure to increase creative cognition
The present article describes an innovative neurofeedback training (NFT) procedure aimed at increasing creative cognition through the enhancement of specific brain activities previously associated with divergent thinking. We designed and tested two NFT protocols based on training alpha and beta EEG oscillations selectively measured over the right parietal region. A total of 80 participants were involved, 40 in the alpha NFT protocol and 40 in the beta NFT protocol. The NFT loop was closed on a video stream that would advance only when oscillation power exceeded a normalized threshold. The total duration of the protocol was two hours in a single day, hence its classification as rapid. Changes in ideational fluency and originality, measured with a divergent thinking task, were compared between participants receiving real video feedback and participants receiving sham feedback. We controlled for individual differences in creative achievement level. Results showed that the protocols were effective at enhancing alpha and beta activities in the targeted area. Differences between the two protocols emerged in their effectiveness at promoting divergent thinking. While no significant changes in originality re- sulted from the rapid alpha NFT, increases in both originality and fluency emerged as a consequence of the rapid beta NFT. These results were particularly evident in participants starting with a low creative achievement level. Possible interpretations and future directions are proposed and discussed.
Agnoli, S., Zanon, M., Mastria, S., Avenanti, A., & Corazza, G. E. (2018). Enhancing creative cognition with a rapid right-parietal neurofeedback procedure. Neuropsychologia.