Regional homogeneity, resting-state functional connectivity and amplitude of low frequency fluctuation associated with creativity measured by divergent thinking in a sex-specific manner

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Abstract

Brain connectivity is traditionally thought to be important for creativity. Here we investigated the associations of creativity measured by divergent thinking (CMDT) with resting-state functional magnetic imaging (fMRI) measures and their sex differences. We examined these relationships in the brains of 1277 healthy young adults. Whole-brain analyses revealed a significant interaction between verbal CMDT and sex on (a) regional homogeneity within an area from the left anterior temporal lobe (b) on the resting state functional connectivity (RSFC) between the mPFC and the left inferior frontal gyrus and (c) on fractional amplitude of low frequency fluctuations (fALFF) in several distinct areas, including the precuneus and middle cingulate gyrus, left middle temporal gyrus, right middle frontal gyrus, and cerebellum. These interactions were mediated by positive correlations in females and negative correlations in males. These findings suggest that greater CMDT in females is reflected by (a) regional coherence (regional homogeneity) of brain areas responsible for representing and combining concepts as well as (b) the efficient functional connection (RSFC) between the key areas for the default state of cognitive activity and speech production, and (c) greater spontaneous neural activity (fALFF) during the resting of brain areas involved in frontal lobe functions, default cognitive activities, and language functions. Furthermore, these findings suggest that the associations between creativity and resting state brain connectivity patterns are different between males and females.

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