Effects of tDCS on Creative Thinking.

Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on Brain Networks Related to Creative Thinking.

Human creative thinking is unique and capable of generating novel and valuable ideas. Recent research has clarified the contribution of different brain networks (default mode network, DN; executive control network; salience network) to creative thinking. However, the effects of brain stimulation on brain networks during creative thinking and on creative performance have not been clarified. The present study was designed to examine the changes in functional connectivity (FC) and effective connectivity (EC) of the large-scale brain network, and the ensuing changes in creative performance, induced by transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). Fourteen healthy male students underwent two tDCS sessions, one with actual stimulation and one with sham stimulation, on two separate days. Participants underwent tDCS (anode over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, DLPFC; cathode over the right inferior parietal lobule, IPL) for 20 min. Before and after the tDCS session, electroencephalography signals were acquired from 32 electrodes over the whole head during the creative thinking task. On FC analysis, the delta band FC between the posterior cingulate cortex and IPL significantly increased only after real stimulation. We also found that the change of flexibility score was significantly correlated with the change in: (i) delta band FC between mPFC and left lateral temporal cortex (LTC) and (ii) alpha band FC between IPL and right LTC. On EC analysis, decreased flow within the DN (from left LTC to right IPL) was observed. Our results reveal that tDCS could affect brain networks, particularly the DN, during creative thinking and modulate key FC in the generation of flexible creative ideas.

PMID: 33192387 [PubMed]

Front Hum Neurosci. 2020;14:541052

Authors: Koizumi K, Ueda K, Li Z, Nakao M




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