Creativity in the blink of an eye

Dopamineric activity in the striatum can serve different adaptive functions, which effects on real-world creativity this study aims to uncover. Using spontaneous eye-blink rates as a proxy to measure dopaminergic activity, we studied how individual differences in positive and negative affectivity implement different dopaminergic pathways, and how baseline and task-evoked activity predict real-world creative outcomes. Our studies suggest that individual differences in positive and negative affect can both implement dopaminergic activity; and that positive effects of dopamine on creativity depend not on either baseline or task-evoked dopaminergic activity, but rather on their interaction. Furthermore, effects of dopaminergic activity are highly dependent on the type of creative task, as our studies show that its effects differ when comparing psychometric versus more ecologically valid creative tasks. As such, our findings both contribute to and underline the complexities of the function of dopaminergic activity in the creative thinking process.

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