The CREAM European Project: exploring the creative brain from a multidisciplinary perspective

Sergio Agnoli

VII European Congress on Methodology, Palma de Mallorca (Spain), July, 27-29.


Creativity is hard to define, but it is even harder to measure. It is multifaceted, has multilevel components, and is a multidimensional construct. For this reason, a multidisciplinary perspective could be considered the most suitable approach to the analysis of its intrinsically complex nature. Based on these considerations, the European Commission launched a specific targeted research project under the acronym CREAM (CReativity Enhancement through Advanced brain Mapping and stimulation), which purpose is the multidisciplinary study of the neural substrates of creative thinking in different knowledge domains.


To the aim at analysing and enhancing creativity in the scientific and artistic knowledge domains, the CREAM project joins several research fields: 1) cognitive psychology, to provide a new comprehensive, reliable and standardized measure of the creative thinking process; 2) neuroscience, to verify the existence of neural correlates at the basis of creative cognition and to reveal its spatiotemporal neuronal dynamics; 3) information and communication technologies, to apply advanced signal processing techniques to monitor the creative cognitive states in real time and to develop new methods to measure and stimulate creative cognition.


The multi-discipline and well amalgamated CREAM Consortium channels the necessary competences in these different fields, joining cognitive psychologists, neuroscientists, engineers, physicians, as well as creative professionals in the advertisement domain as final users. During the first two years of the project new findings in the study and analysis of the creative behaviour emerged in the different fields, such as new methods to the comprehensive measurement of the creative process, new neurological substrates at the basis of the creative performance, or new methodologies for the mapping of the creative brain.


In this talk, we will present and discuss the main results obtained adopting this multidisciplinary approach, highlighting in particular the main findings emerging from the multisided analysis of creative thinking.