Creativity training enhances goal-directed attention and information processing

Bott N., Quintin E.-M., Saggar M., Kienitz E., Royalty A., Hong D. W.C., Liu N., Chien Y.H., Hawthorne G., Reiss A.L. 2014. Thinking Skills & Creativity


Studies suggest that individuals with greater creative potential have enhanced executive function. Here we tested the hypothesis that a creativity training intervention would increase both low and high-level executive functions. Fifteen participants completed a 5-week creative capacity building program (CCBP) and 15 participants completed a control intervention consisting of a parallel 5-week language capacity building training program (LCBP). Goal-directed attention and processing speed were measured with the Delis–Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS) color–word interference test. Results revealed higher scores post-training associated with CCBP compared to LCBP on the primary D-KEFS measure of combined completion time for color-naming and word-reading conditions, and the primary contrast measure of combined completion time for color-naming and word-reading compared to completion time for inhibition switching. Relative to LCBP, CCBP leads to improvement performance on measures reflecting lower-level executive functions (goal-directed attention and information processing) as opposed to higher-level executive functions, which showed no between-group differences.