Poster A61, Saturday, March 25, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Pacific Concourse
Smaller N400 Amplitudes are Reflected in Creative Individuals
Kristina Pfeifer1, Gavin Dowd2, Reza Ghafur2, Alejandro Heredia2, Mark W. Geisler2; 1San Francisco State University
Recalling uncommon information is thought to be a unique characteristic within creative individuals (Mednick, 1962). To test this theory we examined the amplitude of the N400, which becomes larger in negativity when processing unrelated semantic information (Bentin et al., 1985). Due to the ease in which creative individuals produce meaning from unrelated associates (Benedek et al., 2012), smaller N400 amplitudes were predicted in response to remote word pairs. Participants (N = 45) were asked to try and form an association while viewing related, indirect and unrelated word pairs while electroencephalography was recorded form 9 electrode sites. Three measures of creativity were examined separately: divergent thinking, creative personally, and scientific creative achievement. N400 amplitude was largest for unrelated word pairs, intermediate for indirect word pairs, and smallest for related word pairs, with the difference between conditions greatest at electrode site P4. Based on this finding, which is consistent with previous N400 studies on word reading (Federmeir & Kutas, 1999), electrode site P4 was used for analysis. Subtraction waveforms yielded two conditions of interest: the unrelated effect (unrelated minus related) and the indirect effect (indirect minus related). A significant positive correlation was found for the indirect effect indicating that those high in scientific creative achievement, divergent thinking and creative personality had smaller N400 amplitudes (all rs ≥ .307). For the unrelated effect, the same positive correlation was found for scientific creative achievement and creative personality (all rs ≥ .355).
Topic Area: LANGUAGE: Semantic