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Spontaneous and deliberate modes of creativity: Multitask eigen-connectivity analysis captures latent cognitive modes during creative thinking.

Authors
  • Xie, Hua1
  • Beaty, Roger E2
  • Jahanikia, Sahar1
  • Geniesse, Caleb3
  • Sonalkar, Neeraj S4
  • Saggar, Manish5
  • 1 Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, USA.
  • 2 Department of Psychology, Pennsylvania State University, USA.
  • 3 Biophysics Program, Stanford University, USA.
  • 4 Center for Design Research, Stanford University, USA.
  • 5 Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, USA. Electronic address: [email protected]
Type
Published Article
Journal
NeuroImage
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Nov 01, 2021
Volume
243
Pages
118531–118531
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118531
PMID: 34469816
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Despite substantial progress in the quest of demystifying the brain basis of creativity, several questions remain open. One such issue concerns the relationship between two latent cognitive modes during creative thinking, i.e., deliberate goal-directed cognition and spontaneous thought generation. Although an interplay between deliberate and spontaneous thinking is often implicated in the creativity literature (e.g., dual-process models), a bottom-up data-driven validation of the cognitive processes associated with creative thinking is still lacking. Here, we attempted to capture the latent modes of creative thinking by utilizing a data-driven approach on a novel continuous multitask paradigm (CMP) that widely sampled a hypothetical two-dimensional cognitive plane of deliberate and spontaneous thinking in a single fMRI session. The CMP consisted of eight task blocks ranging from undirected mind wandering to goal-directed working memory task, while also included two widely-used creativity tasks, i.e., alternate uses task (AUT) and remote association task (RAT). Using eigen-connectivity (EC) analysis on the multitask whole-brain functional connectivity (FC) patterns, we embedded the multitask FCs into a low-dimensional latent space. The first two latent components, as revealed by the EC analysis, broadly mapped onto the two cognitive modes of deliberate and spontaneous thinking, respectively. Further, in this low-dimensional space, both creativity tasks were located in the upper right corner of high deliberate and spontaneous thinking (creative cognitive space). Neuroanatomically, the creative cognitive space was represented by not only increased intra-network connectivity within executive control and default mode network, but also by higher coupling between the two canonical brain networks. Further, individual differences reflected in the low-dimensional connectivity embeddings were related to differences in deliberate and spontaneous thinking abilities. Altogether, using a continuous multitask paradigm and a data-driven approach, we provide initial empirical evidence for the contribution of both deliberate and spontaneous modes of cognition during creative thinking. Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.

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