Publication Date

April 2017


Psyche Loui




English (United States)


The process of creativity entails the production of novel and original work appropriate in certain domains. One specific domain of creativity is jazz improvisation, which requires musicians to produce original and novel music in real time. We hypothesize that the ability to improvise is facilitated by increased structural and functional connectivity between mesial and lateral structures. We test this hypothesis by comparing diffusion tensor imaging and resting state fMRI of jazz improvising musicians to musician and non-musician control groups. DTI analyses include TBSS and probabilistic tractography of specific white matter pathways of interest. DTI results show higher FA in cingulate and arcuate fasciculus. Resting state fMRI data show larger areas among jazz musicians between regions that are functionally correlated with default mode network and language network areas, and an importance of anterior cingulate gyrus in jazz musicians’ network. Results show enhanced structural and functional connectivity between mesial default mode areas and lateral language areas in jazz improvising musicians, which gives us insights into what creativity means, how creativity is related to training experience, and its underlying neurological structures.



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