Schedule of Events | Search Abstracts | Symposia | Invited Symposia | Poster Sessions | Data Blitz Sessions

Poster E144

Brain Network Functional Connectivity During Scientific Creative Thinking in Adolescents

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

Danny Holzman1 (, Simone Luchini2, Adam Green1, Roger Beaty2; 1Georgetown University, 2Pennsylvania State University

Similar to general creative thinking, scientific creative thinking has been linked to functional connectivity among the brain’s default mode network (DMN) and executive control network (ECN), reflecting a cooperation of spontaneous and goal-directed cognitive processes. However, it remains uncertain to what extent this pattern of functional connectivity exists in adolescents. Given the importance of creativity in academic and career success, it is crucial to better understand creativity during adolescence. In the present functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) study, high school students (n = 26) currently enrolled in science courses completed a scientific hypothesis generation task (thinking of novel/plausible explanations for scenarios) and a control task (thinking of synonyms to replace a word in a scenario). For the analysis in this poster, we will conduct functional connectivity analyses between regions of the DMN (e.g. angular gyrus) and ECN (e.g. inferior frontal gyrus) to characterize the connectivity of brain networks associated with hypothesis generation. We expect an increase in between-network functional connectivity during hypothesis generation compared to the control task. This study is part of a larger experiment investigating the effectiveness of “flex-based learning”, a new method of science education focused on promoting cognitive flexibility by teaching strategies for generating, evaluating, and selecting solutions. Although not presented in this poster, future analyses will determine how the flex-based methods impact creative thinking and associated functional connectivity compared to standard curricula. This research has implications for real-world educational interventions that have the potential to foster creativity in STEM education.

Topic Area: THINKING: Problem solving


CNS Account Login


April 13–16  |  2024