Mr. Yoed N. Kenett
Gonda Brain Research Center, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel
What differentiates between low creativity
from high creativity persons? An interdisciplinary research
According to Mednick’s (1962) theory of individual differences in associative hierarchies, creative individuals appear to have a richer and more flexible associative network than less creative individuals. Thus, creative individuals are characterized by “flat” (more and broader associations to a given stimulus) instead of “steep” associational hierarchies (few, common associations to a given stimulus). Possibly, creative individuals have more associative links in their network and can connect associative relations faster than less creative individuals, thereby facilitating more efficient search processes. In my research, I implement a novel computational approach to examine the individual differences between low semantic creative (LSC) and high semantic creative (HSC) persons, based on Mednick’s (1962) theory. First, we drafted a large sample of participants, who underwent several creativity measurements. Based on these measurements, we classified our sample into LSC and HSC groups. Next, both groups completed a free association paradigm from which the semantic networks of both groups were extracted and compared. These computational findings will be empirically examined, through behavioral and electrophysiological means. Finally, our computational tools can be used to study various clinical populations demonstrating thought, language and communication difficulties related to either more rigid or more flexible, unstable semantic networks. This, by investigating their semantic network and identifying network differences compared to neurotypical controls, which may contribute in addressing their semantic deficiencies. Two such clinical examinations will be presented.