Plasticity of the resting-state brain: static and dynamic functional connectivity change induced by divergent thinking training

  • Jiangzhou Sun
  • Qinglin Zhang
  • Yu Li
  • Jie Meng
  • Qunlin Chen
  • Wenjing Yang
  • Dongtao Wei
  • Jiang QiuEmail author


Creativity is very important and is linked to almost all areas of our everyday life. Improving creativity brings great benefits. Various strategies and training paradigms have been used to stimulate creative thinking. These training approaches have been confirmed to be effective. However, whether or not training can reshape the resting-state brain is still unclear. The present study examined whether or not the divergent thinking training intervention can reshape the resting-state brain functional connectivity (FC). Static seed-based and dynamic approaches were used to explore this problem. Results demonstrate significant changes in static and dynamic FCs. FCs, such as dorsal anterior cingulate cortex-inferior parietal lobule, dorsal anterior cingulate cortex-precuneus and left and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, was significantly improved through the training. Furthermore, the temporal variability of the supplementary motor area and middle temporal gyrus was improved. These results indicate that divergent thinking training may lead to resting-state brain plasticity. Considering the role of these regions in brain networks, the present study further confirms the close relationship between the brain networks’ dynamic interactions and divergent thinking processes.


Plasticity Resting-state Functional connectivity Divergent thinking Training 



This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31470981; 31571137; 31500885; 31600878; 31771231), Project of the National Defense Science and Technology Innovation Special Zone, Chang Jiang Scholars Program, National Outstanding Young People Plan, the Program for the Top Young Talents by Chongqing, the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (SWU1709568, SWU1609177), the Postgraduate Science Innovation Foundation of Chongqing (CYB18109), Natural Science Foundation of Chongqing (cstc2015jcyjA10106), Fok Ying Tung Education Foundation (151023), the Research Program Funds of the Collaborative Innovation Center of Assessment toward Basic Education Quality at Beijing Normal University.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing interests.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Brain Imaging Center Institutional Review Board of Southwest China University and with the standards of the Declaration of Helsinki (1991).

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jiangzhou Sun
    • 1
    • 2
  • Qinglin Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yu Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jie Meng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Qunlin Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wenjing Yang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Dongtao Wei
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jiang Qiu
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Cognition and Personality (SWU)Ministry of EducationChongqingChina
  2. 2.Faculty of PsychologySouthwest UniversityChongqingChina

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