Brain Imaging and Behavior

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 609–618 | Cite as

Gender and creativity: an overview of psychological and neuroscientific literature

  • Anna AbrahamEmail author
Review Article


The topic of gender differences in creativity is one that generates substantial scientific and public interest, but also courts considerable controversy. Owing to the heterogeneous nature of the findings associated with this line of research, the general picture often appears puzzling or obscure. This article presents a selective overview of psychological and neuroscientific literature that has a relevant bearing on the theme of gender and creativity. Topics that are explored include the definition and methods of assessing creativity, a summary of behavioral investigations on gender in relation to creativity, postulations that have been put forward to understand gender differences in creative achievement, gender-based differences in the structure and function of the brain, gender-related differences in behavioral performance on tasks of normative cognition, and neuroscientific studies of gender and creativity. The article ends with a detailed discussion of the idea that differences between men and women in creative cognition are best explained with reference to the gender-dependent adopted strategies or cognitive style when faced with generative tasks.


Gender differences Sex differences Cognition and behavior Creative cognition Creative thinking Divergent thinking Neuroimaging Cognitive neuroscience Cognitive style Cognitive strategy Brain basis 


Conflict of Interest

Anna Abraham declares that she has no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social, Psychological & Communication SciencesLeeds Beckett UniversityLeedsUK

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