Recognizing ideas generated in a creative task: the roles of the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex in facilitating self-generated learning

Ke Ding, Ruizhi He, Xi Wang, Qunlin Chen, Yoed N. Kenett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Creative idea generation plays an important role in promoting successful memory formation. Yet, its underlying neural correlates remain unclear. We investigated the self-generated learning of creative ideas motivated by the schema-linked interactions between medial prefrontal and medial temporal regions framework. This was achieved by having participants generate ideas in the alternative uses task, self-evaluating their ideas based on novelty and source (i.e. new or old), and then later being tested on the recognition performance of the generated ideas. At the behavioral level, our results indicated superior performances in discriminating novel ideas, highlighting the novelty effect on memory. At the neural level, the regions-of-interest analyses revealed that successful recognition of novel ideas was associated with greater activations in the hippocampus (HPC) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) during ideation. However, only activation in the right HPC was positively related to the successful recognition of novel ideas. Importantly, the weaker the connection between the right HPC and left mPFC, the higher the recognition accuracy of novel ideas. Moreover, activations in the right HPC and left mPFC were both effective predictors of successful recognition of novel ideas. These findings uniquely highlight the role of novelty in promoting self-generated learning of creative ideas.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberbhae219
JournalCerebral Cortex
Volume34
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 May 2024
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • creativity
  • hippocampus
  • medial prefrontal cortex
  • memory encoding
  • memory recollection

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