Research Topic

Creativity and Mental Imagery

About this Research Topic

Creativity is one of the most mysterious and controversial topic in Cognitive Psychology. Nevertheless, it is important at both individual, social and cultural level, being involved in problem solving, visual and verbal thinking, scientific invention and discovery, industrial design, works of art, dance, and ...

Creativity is one of the most mysterious and controversial topic in Cognitive Psychology. Nevertheless, it is important at both individual, social and cultural level, being involved in problem solving, visual and verbal thinking, scientific invention and discovery, industrial design, works of art, dance, and music. In these last years Creativity has been also seen as a new way to improve the quality of life in normal and pathological ageing, given that it can help to get emotionally closer to themselves as well as socially closer to other people.
So far different approaches have been developed to study Creativity. Traditionally the psychometric approach systematized Creativity as divergent thinking, that relies on the unbound ideational searching that is typically evoked where solutions need to be generated for problems that have no right or wrong answers. Subsequently, the cognitive approach focused on different aspects of Creativity: the level of information processing operations that can influence creative ability, and the mental operations involved in Creativity.
In particular, the role of Mental Imagery has been systematically explored using different lines of inquiry. Indeed, experimental studies and visual reports of artists and scientific discoveries suggested that Mental Imagery and Creativity are related to each other.
The first line of inquire relies on the relationships between self-reported Mental Imagery (e.g., imagery vividness questionnaires) and measures of divergent thinking (e.g., the alternative uses task). Recent studies revealed that vividness of imagery explains only a small part of the total variance of divergent thinking scores.
The second line of inquire involves the exploration of the image generation process. The “Geneplore Model’ posits that creativity emerges through the mental visualization of specific forms, as an ongoing cycle of two basic processes: generative processes (e.g., association, mental synthesis), which are used in the construction of pre-inventive structures, and exploratory processes (e.g., conceptual interpretation, functional inference), which are used to examine and interpret the pre-inventive structures. The final product is scored in terms of originality and appropriateness using the consensual assessment technique.
With this in mind, this Research Topic encourages submissions that can push the field of Creativity forward by suggesting new behavioural and neural mechanisms.
Contributions that experimentally manipulate and test different models or hypotheses regarding Creativity and in particular the interaction between types of Creativity and Mental imagery are welcome. In this direction, the Research Topic shows a great interest in studies focusing on different Creativity measures and new methods to score imagery vividness, and studies that explores the extent to which different mental processes (e.g., attention, perception, memory, spatial ability, and so forth) are involved in creative imagery.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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