Date of Publishing:
October 1, 2014

To create or to recall?

In their fMRI study Mathias Benedek, Emanuel Jauk, Andreas Fink, Karl Koschutnig and Aljoscha C. Neubauer (Department of Psychology/University of Graz) and Gernot Reishofer and Franz Ebner (Department of Radiology/University of Graz) focus on general, creative idea generation (i.e., divergent thinking). They investigated brain activation during creative idea generation using a novel approach allowing spontaneous self-paced generation and expression of ideas. Specifically, they addressed the fundamental question of what brain processes are relevant for the generation of genuinely new creative ideas, in contrast to the mere recollection of old ideas from memory.

This article was first published in NeuroImage, no. 88 (2014), 125–133, by Elsevier Inc.


Whole brain analysis (T maps) of brain activation during divergent thinking relative to implicit baseline (OLD & NEW N 0; p b .05, FWE corrected, k ≥ 100). Axial planes are depicted at z = − 20 to 50. Divergent thinking is associated with significant activation in the left inferior gyrus (IFG), left superior frontal gyrus (SFG), left pre- and postcentral gyri, and right hippocampus (yellow colors), and with significant relative deactivations (blue colors) in the right temporoparietal junction (TPJ), right precuneus, and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC).