Creative ideas are thought to result from flexible recombination of concepts from memory. A growing number of behavioural and neuroscientific studies provide evidence of a link between episodic memory and divergent thinking; however, little is known about the potential contributions of autobiographical memory to creative ideation. To provide a novel perspective on this issue, we assessed measures of divergent and convergent creative thinking in a cohort (n = 14) of rare individuals showing Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM). The HSAM cohort completed memory tasks in addition to a battery of creativity measures, including the Alternative Uses Task, Consequences Task and Remote Associates Task. We performed statistical analyses to establish whether there were any significant differences between HSAM and controls (n = 28) across these measures. Although HSAM participants were superior in the recall of autobiographical events compared to controls, we observed no overall difference between the groups in relation to the creativity measures. These findings suggest that the constructive episodic processes relevant to creative thinking are not enhanced in individuals with HSAM, perhaps because they are compulsively and narrowly focused on consolidation and retrieval of autobiographical events.

Individuals with highly superior autobiographical memory do not show enhanced creative thinking

Daviddi, Sarah
;
Santangelo, Valerio
2022

Abstract

Creative ideas are thought to result from flexible recombination of concepts from memory. A growing number of behavioural and neuroscientific studies provide evidence of a link between episodic memory and divergent thinking; however, little is known about the potential contributions of autobiographical memory to creative ideation. To provide a novel perspective on this issue, we assessed measures of divergent and convergent creative thinking in a cohort (n = 14) of rare individuals showing Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM). The HSAM cohort completed memory tasks in addition to a battery of creativity measures, including the Alternative Uses Task, Consequences Task and Remote Associates Task. We performed statistical analyses to establish whether there were any significant differences between HSAM and controls (n = 28) across these measures. Although HSAM participants were superior in the recall of autobiographical events compared to controls, we observed no overall difference between the groups in relation to the creativity measures. These findings suggest that the constructive episodic processes relevant to creative thinking are not enhanced in individuals with HSAM, perhaps because they are compulsively and narrowly focused on consolidation and retrieval of autobiographical events.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11391/1534902
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