Poster A108, Saturday, March 24, 1:30–3:30 pm, Exhibit Hall C
Age-related differences in frontoparietal activity underlying creativity for convergent and divergent thinking
Helena H. Lee1, Ko-Jou Liu1, Ya-Wen Fang1,2, De-Jung Tseng1, Ching-Po Lin3, Ovid J.L. Tzeng1,2,4,5,6, Hsu-Wen Huang2,6, Chih-Mao Huang1,2; 1National Chiao Tung University, 2Academia Sinica, 3National Yang Ming University, 4Taipei Medical University, 5National Taiwan Normal University, 6City University of Hong Kong
Creativity represents the mental ability to require one single solution to a problem with insight experience (i.e., convergent thinking) or relate to generating unusual ideas or novel solutions to problems (i.e., divergent thinking). Creative ability involves convergent and divergent thinking appears to be associated with frontal and parieto-temporal regions in which show significant brain atrophy across the lifespan. We conducted an event-related fMRI study to investigate age-related differences in neural activity. Twenty-two young adults and 30 healthy older participants were instructed to perform two fMRI tasks during scanning: the Chinese-word remote associates test (CAT) to represent the processes of convergent thinking and the modified version of the alternative uses task (AUT) to measure the processes of divergent thinking. A whole brain analysis revealed that older adults exhibited greater and more distributed activation in superior parietal cortex and parahippocampal region compared to young adults during both convergent and divergent thinking, indicating the neural efforts for retrieval semantic knowledge. Moreover, older adults showed additional activation in bilateral inferior frontal region for convergent thinking and greater activation in superior occipital gyrus/precuneus during divergent thinking, suggesting the controlled retrieval of semantic knowledge and the process of mental imagery relevant to creative thinking, respectively. These findings demonstrate age-related differences in neurocognitive strategies during convergent and divergent thinking and provide evidence for an adaptive view of the human brain that functionally reorganizes and responds to neural aging.
Topic Area: THINKING: Development & aging