Creative thinking

My research field is oriented toward two main topics: analogies and creativity. In each of these axes, I aim to understand the cognitive mechanisms of these functions, and explore their cerebral substrate.

Where do new ideas come from?

?How to assess creativity?

Creative thinking is essential to solve new or unusual problems, providing solutions that are both original (new) and appropriate (adaptive). The cognitive factors involved in creative thinking and their cerebral correlates are poorly understood. We hypothesized that important cognitive mechanisms required for creative thinking consist in thinking away from pre-established semantic or behavioral associations (inhibition), evoking unusual associations between items (activation), and combining/integrating previously unrelated items (combination).

Aims of this research program:

· To identify distinct cognitive mechanisms (executive and associative processes) allowing original ideas to emerge, establish behavioral measures of these mechanisms, identify individual creative profiles based on these measures

· To explore the cerebral networks supporting these distinct mechanisms using multimodal neuroimaging approaches, integrating brain morphometry, anatomical connectivity, functional imaging and functional connectivity

· To examine the impact of neurological and psychiatric pathologies on creative potential, allowing to better understand the role of brain nodes in creative mechanisms, and to develop new tools to assess higher-level cognitive functions in patients


· Experimental psychology

· Lesion approach

· Voxel-based morphometry

· Diffusion imaging and tractography

· Functional imaging

· Functional connectivity

· Electrophysiology

· Computational modeling

Drawing from Ms YCFZ

?What are the brain networks supporting creativity?

Gonen-Yaacovi et al 2013

?Do creative people have particular semantic network properties?