The Cognitive Neuroscience of Creativity Laboratory (CNCL) at Penn State University studies the psychology and neuroscience of creative thinking. Our lab uses behavioral and brain imaging methods to examine how fundamental cognitive systems (e.g., memory, attention, and cognitive control) contribute to people's ability to generate new ideas and solve complex problems.

Lab News

  • 4/2020: New paper published in Human Brain Mapping: "Mapping the artistic brain: Common and distinct neural activations associated with musical, drawing, and literary creativity"
  • 3/2020: Brendan Baker joined the lab as a Research Associate. Brendan recently graduated with a BA in Psychology from the University of Virginia. Welcome, Brendan!
  • 2/2020: New preprint: "Automating creativity assessment with SemDis: An open platform for computing semantic distance
  • 2/2020: New preprint: "Spontaneous melodic productions of expert musicians contain sequencing biases seen in language production"
  • 1/2020: New paper published in NeuroImage: "Elements of creative thought: Investigating the cognitive and neural correlates of association and bi-association processes"
  • 1/2020: New paper published in NeuroImage: "Community structure of the creative brain at rest"
  • 1/2020: Dr. Beaty wrote an article on creativity neuroscience for Cerebrum, the online publication of the Dana Foundation
  • 1/2020: New paper published in NeuroImage: "Default network contributions to episodic and semantic processing during divergent creative thinking: A representational similarity analysis"
  • 11/2019: New preprint: "Intelligence and creativity share a common cognitive and neural basis"
  • 10/2019: New paper published in PLoS ONE: "Aging and the wandering brain: Age-related differences in the neural correlates of stimulus-independent thoughts"
  • 8/2019: Dr. Beaty discussed the lab's research on the neuroscience of creative thinking on the "All in the Mind" podcast.
  • 8/2019: The National Science Foundation funded our grant proposal, with Adam Green (Georgetown) and Mariale Hardiman (Johns Hopkins), submitted to the Division of Research on Learning: "Measuring and Enhancing Scientific Creative Thinking for STEM Education and Research: Classroom-Aligned Assessment and Network Neuroscience-Based Mechanisms"