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Poster E143

Investigating Default and Executive network contributions to novel metaphor production in Spanish/English bilinguals

Poster Session E - Monday, April 15, 2024, 2:30 – 4:30 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Hannah M. Merseal1 (, Paul V. DiStefano1, Janet G. van Hell1, Roger E. Beaty1; 1Pennsylvania State University

A recent convergence of behavioral research from the creativity and bilingualism fields suggests a possible influence of language history on creative thinking ability. Yet, the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying the relationship between bilingualism and creativity have not been investigated to date. One possible mechanism for enhanced creative thinking abilities in bilingual speakers may be their relative strengths in executive control, which are developed via language switching, translation, and interpretive behaviors bilinguals engage with in their daily language use. Executive control has consistently been implicated as a crucial neural and cognitive mechanism in creative thinking across the literature, with top-down control over a broad base of knowledge being essential to the selection of creative ideas of high quality. In an ongoing fMRI study of highly proficient Spanish/English bilinguals (anticipated N = 40; current N = 21), we examine the contributions of the executive and default mode networks to bilingual verbal creativity on a novel metaphor production task. We expect functional connectivity between the default and executive control networks to positively, linearly predict metaphor creativity in participants’ second language. We also expect that this effect will be mediated by participants’ frequency of use and proficiency in their second language. The present work is a critical next step in unifying the fields of bilingualism and creativity research, and is the first to bring these fields together using a neuroimaging approach.

Topic Area: THINKING: Problem solving


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April 13–16  |  2024