Gender-Related Differences in Changes in the Coherence of Cortical Biopotentials during Image-Based Creative Thought: Relationship with Action Efficacy
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The aim of the present work was to study the characteristics of cortical interactions during performance of an image-based creative task in men and women with high and low levels of creativity. Subjects were divided into groups on the basis of the median originality score. EEG recordings were made in baseline conditions and during performance of the task (the Torrance Tests of Creating Thinking, “Incomplete Figures”). EEG coherence was calculated in six frequency ranges, from theta1 to beta2. Total coherence was analyzed for each of 16 leads calculated separately for intrahemisphere and interhemisphere coherence links. Differences in changes in coherence evoked by performing the task between subjects with high and low levels of originality were seen at the theta2, alpha1, and alpha2 frequencies. These differences resulted from decreases in coherence at low levels of originality, accompanied by increases in coherence in the theta1 and alpha 2 ranges and, at high levels of originality, a less significant decrease in the alpha2 range. The alpha2 range also showed an interaction between the gender, creativity, laterality, and electrode position factors on analysis of task performance-linked intrahemisphere coherence of cortical biopotentials. The patterns of the spatial distributions of coherence across the hemispheres were found to be similar in men and women with opposite levels of creativity, while task-linked changes in coherence in the anterior areas of the left and posterior areas of the right hemisphere were larger in high-creativity men as compared with those with low creativity. The results are evaluated in relation to the possibility that men and women use different cognitive strategies to achieve identical results from creative activity.
Key wordsEEG coherence levels of creativity gender-related differences
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