Cognitive Neurodynamics

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 55–71 | Cite as

Spontaneous analogising caused by text stimuli in design thinking: differences between higher- and lower-creativity groups

  • Yu-Cheng Liu
  • Chi-Cheng Chang
  • Yu-Hsuan Sylvia Yang
  • Chaoyun Liang
Research Article


Understanding the cognitive processes used in creative practices is essential to design research. In this study, electroencephalography was applied to investigate the brain activations of visual designers when they responded to various types of word stimuli during design thinking. Thirty visual designers were recruited, with the top third and bottom third of the participants divided into high-creativity (HC) and low-creativity (LC) groups. The word stimuli used in this study were two short poems, adjectives with similar meanings, and adjectives with opposing meanings. The derived results are outlined as follows: (1) the brain activations of the designers increased in the frontal and right temporal regions and decreased in the right prefrontal region; (2) the negative association between the right temporal and middle frontal regions was notable; (3) the differences in activations caused by distinct word stimuli varied between HC and LC designers; (4) the spectral power in the middle frontal region of HC designers was lower than that of LC designers during the short love poem task; (5) the spectral power in the bilateral temporal regions of HC designers was higher than that of LC designers during the short autumn poem task; (6) the spectral power in the frontoparietal region of HC designers was lower than that of LC designers during the similar concept task; and (7) the spectral power in the frontoparietal and left frontotemporal regions of HC designers was higher than that of LC designers during the opposing concept task.


Creativity Design thinking Electroencephalography Text stimuli Visual designer 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yu-Cheng Liu
    • 1
  • Chi-Cheng Chang
    • 2
  • Yu-Hsuan Sylvia Yang
    • 3
  • Chaoyun Liang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Bio-Industry Communication and DevelopmentNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of Technology Application and Human Resource DevelopmentNational Taiwan Normal UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  3. 3.Bios Engineer R&D Center S/WQuanta Computer Inc.Guishan, TaoyuanTaiwan

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