The Music, Brain and Creativity Initiative Presents “Mapping the Creative Mind: Memory Systems, Cognitive Control, and Brain Dynamics”

The Music, Brain and Creativity Initiative Presents

“Mapping the Creative Mind: Memory Systems, Cognitive Control, and Brain Dynamics”


Speaker: Dr. Roger Beaty, Pennsylvania State University, USA

Date: May 17th 2022

Platform: Zoom

Open to NIAS and general public

Welcome Address: Dr. Shailesh Nayak, Director, NIAS

Host: Dr. Deepti Navaratna, T.V. Raman Pai Chair Professor, NIAS

Date: May 17 @6pm on ZOOM

Registration Link: to receive Zoom invite)


About the talk:
Creative thinking involves making new connections between concepts stored in memory. But memory retrieval alone does not always lead to the most original ideas—we often need to shift our thinking away from common knowledge to produce something new. How does memory support and constrain our ability to think creatively? In this talk, I will explore some benefits and costs of episodic and semantic memory to creative cognition. I will also discuss how our capacity for cognitive control may play a key role in overcoming constraining effects of prior knowledge. I will present evidence from a series of fMRI studies examining neurocognitive mechanisms of creative cognition, as well as individual differences in creative ability, using tools from network neuroscience. Together, these studies show that creative thinking involves a dynamic interplay between the default mode and frontoparietal networks—neural systems commonly engaged during memory retrieval and cognitive control. The talk will also explore extensions of this research to specific creative domains (e.g., artistic and scientific creativity), development (e.g., aging), and education (e.g., learning and pedagogy). 


About the speaker: Roger Beaty is an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Director of the Cognitive Neuroscience of Creativity Lab at Penn State University. Roger completed his doctoral degree at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and his postdoctoral training at Harvard University. His lab studies cognitive and neural mechanisms of creativity across various contexts and domains, from everyday creativity to music improvisation to scientific discovery. Roger received the Berlyne Award for early career contributions to creativity research from Division 10 of the American Psychological Association. His research on creativity neuroscience and measurement has received grant support from the National Science Foundation and the John Templeton Foundation.  


About the series:The series of lectures will explore the science of creative thinking – by inviting scholars who use cognitive, psychometric, neuroimaging, naturalistic and Indic approaches to understand creative cognition. Music is a fascinating window to explore how the brain thinks creatively; understanding the cognition of musical improvisation can unravel how the brain operates in real-time creative solutioning. 


Tuesday, May 17, 2022