Neuroscience and Behavioral Physiology

, Volume 36, Issue 6, pp 645–653 | Cite as

Frequency-spatial organization of brain electrical activity in creative verbal thought: The role of the gender factor

  • O. M. Razumnikova
  • A. O. Bryzgalov


Gender-related differences in the EEG correlates of creative thought were studied by mapping EEG power during performance of a Remote Associations Task as compared with verbal word-generation and simple association tasks. Right-handed students (18 male, 21 female) took part in the studies. Gender-related differences were seen in the factor structure of measures of verbal activity and in the larger number of words generated for a given letter in women than in men. In terms of the originality of the associations, men and women showed no significant difference, though the dynamics of the power of the beta-2 rhythm during creative thought differed. In males, the search for original associations was accompanied by increases in beta-2 power in both hemispheres at the initial stages of performing the task, with local increases in the beta-2 rhythm in the central parts of the cortex at the end of testing. In women, the increase in beta-2 power was initially greater in the right hemisphere than the left, while there was a relative decrease in beta activity in the parietal-temporal areas of the cortex and an increase in the left anterior frontal areas at the terminal stage of task performance. It is suggested that creative verbal thought is based mostly on an “insight” strategy in males, while women additionally use an “intellectual” strategy.

Key words

divergent thought functional asymmetry of the hemispheres gender-related differences verbal functions 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • O. M. Razumnikova
    • 1
  • A. O. Bryzgalov
    • 1
  1. 1.State Science Research Institute of Physiology, Siberian DivisionRussian Academy of Medical SciencesNovosibirsk

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