Sensitivity of EEG upper alpha activity to cognitive and affective creativity interventions

We investigated whether creative cognition can be improved by means of cognitive and affective stimulation and whether these interventions are associated with changes of EEG alpha activity. Participants were required to generate original uses of conventional objects (Alternative Uses task, AU) while the EEG was recorded. In the cognitive stimulation condition, participants worked on the AU task subsequent to the exposure to other people’s ideas. In the affective stimulation condition, they had to think creatively in positive affective states, induced via emotionally contagious sound clips. Creative cognition generally elicited alpha synchronization, most prominent in the prefrontal cortex and in the right hemisphere. The interventions were associated with stronger prefrontal alpha activity in the upper alpha band
(10–12 Hz) than the control condition (no intervention), possibly indicating a state of heightened internal awareness, which might have a beneficial impact on creativity

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