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Enhancement of figural creativity by motor activation: Effects of unilateral hand contractions on creativity are moderated by positive schizotypy

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Creativity is an important trait necessary to achieve innovations in science, economy, arts and daily life. Therefore, the enhancement of creative performance is a significant field of investigation. A recent experiment showed enhanced verbal creativity after unilateral left-hand contractions, which was attributed to elevated activation of the right hemisphere. The present study aimed to extend these findings to the domain of figural creativity. Furthermore, as creativity and positive schizotypy may share some neurobiological underpinnings associated with the right hemisphere, we studied the potential moderating effect of positive schizotypy on the effects of the experimental modification of relative hemispheric activation on creativity. In a gender-balanced sample (20 men and 20 women), squeezing a hand gripper with the left hand enhanced figural creativity on the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking compared to squeezing the gripper with the right hand. However, this was only true when positive schizotypy was low. The moderating effect of schizotypy may be produced by relatively greater activity of certain parts of the right hemisphere being a shared neuronal correlate of creativity and positive schizotypy.
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Keywords: Creativity; Hemispheric asymmetry; Schizotypy; Unilateral hand contractions

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Biological Psychology Unit, Department of Psychology, University of Graz, Graz, Austria.

Publication date: July 4, 2014

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