Abstracts of SAN Meeting / Neuroscience Letters 500S (2011) e1–e54 e15
fatigue syndrome is not likely to be a primary sleep disorder, J. Clin.
Neurophysiol. 26 (3) (2009) 207–212.
 D. Neu, O. Mairesse, G. Hoffmann, P. Linkowski, L.J. Lambrecht, A.
Dris, P. Verbanck, O. Le Bon, Sleep quality perception in the chronic
fatigue syndrome, Neuropsychobiology 56 (2007) 40–46.
University of Graz, Austria
Advanced neuroimaging techniques such as functional magnetic
resonance imaging (fMRI) or the analysis of task- or event-related
(de)synchronization of brain activity in the electroencephalogram
(EEG) have yielded valuable insights into potential brain corre-
lates underlying creative cognition. In this context, brain activity
in the EEG alpha band (∼8–12 Hz) has proven to be particularly
sensitive to a broad range of different creativity-related demands.
Speciﬁcally, on the basis of existing evidence in this ﬁeld it can be
concluded that EEG alpha activity varies as a function of creativity-
related task demands (the more creative a task the higher the level
of alpha activity), as a function of originality (higher originality
is accompanied by more alpha), and as a function of an individ-
uals’ creativity level (more alpha in higher creative individuals; e.g.
[2,3]). In addition, alpha activity has also been observed to increase
as a result of a verbal creativity training . In studies using fMRI
we observed evidence that the generation of original ideas (as com-
pared with the production of typical object characteristics) was
associated with more activation in the supramarginal gyrus and
stronger widespread deactivation in the inferior parietal cortex
(around the angular gyri), especially in the right hemisphere .
Taken together, our ﬁndings could be interpreted as being indica-
tive of a state of internally driven mental activity that is less likely
disturbed by interfering cognitive processes (such as bottom-up
stimulation), thereby facilitating the combination or the recombi-
nation of more distantly related information.
 A. Fink, R.H. Grabner, M. Benedek, A.C. Neubauer, Divergent thinking training is
related to frontal electroencephalogram alpha synchronization, European Jour-
nal of Neuroscience 23 (2006) 2241–2246.
 A. Fink, R.H. Grabner, M. Benedek, G. Reishofer, V. Hauswirth, M. Fally, C. Neuper,
F. Ebner, A.C. Neubauer, The creative brain: investigation of brain activity during
creative problem solving by means of EEG and fMRI, Human Brain Mapping 30
 A. Fink, B. Graif, A.C. Neubauer, Brain correlates underlying creative thinking:
EEG alpha activity in professional vs. novice dancers, NeuroImage 46 (2009)
 A. Fink, R.H. Grabner, D. Gebauer, G. Reishofer, K. Koschutnig, F. Ebner, Enhanc-
ing creativity by means of cognitive stimulation: evidence from an fMRI study,
NeuroImage 52 (2010) 1687–1695.
Neurofeedback and the performing arts
Goldsmiths, University of London, UK
We have conducted eight controlled studies of neurofeedback (NF)
for enhancing creativity in the arts. The ﬁrst studies with conser-
vatoire musicians disclosed that whereas sensory-motor rhythm
(SMR) and beta1 beneﬁted anxiety as did other popular diverse
interventions without impacting performance ratings of experts,
alpha-theta (A/T) training beneﬁted all three music domains
– musicality, communication, technique – especially musicality
to include interpretative imagination; professionally signiﬁcant
changes . A/T was historically designed to facilitate creativity
through inducing hypnagogia, a borderline waking state associ-
ated with creative insights; through putative facilitation of neural
connectivity . Subsequent studies examined novice singing in
conservatoire instrumentalists. A/T again beneﬁted instrumen-
tal performance, extending to novice singing including creative
improvisation. SMR had a suggestive impact on novice singing,
subsequently examined with 11 year-old children with beneﬁts
on improvisation (creativity, communication); A/T beneﬁted tech-
nique in prepared performance, creativity and communication in
improvisation. Dance performance was examined contrasting A/T
and heart rate variability (HRV) training. Both improved dancing
in competitive university ballroom dancers compared with con-
trols. In contemporary dancers A/T increased cognitive creativity,
while HRV reduced anxiety. Finally, university actors were exam-
ined with SMR with the NF training-display depicting a rendering
of an auditorium seen from the stage. The 2D laptop rendition was
compared with a 3D VR version. Immersive VR was the more suc-
cessful in facilitating brain rhythm control and acting. However,
both were superior to control in inculcating a ﬂow state in acting.
The more successful NF outcome may follow greater immersion in
performance during training with SMR via a visual representation
or with A/T through imagination. Mechanisms and methods will be
discussed along with pedagogical implications for the performing
arts and optimal performance .
 T. Egner, J.H. Gruzelier, Ecological validity of neurofeedback: modulation of slow
wave EEG enhances musical performance, NeuroReport 14 (2003) 1225–1228.
 J.H. Gruzelier, A theory of alpha/theta neurofeedback, creative performance
enhancement, long distance functional connectivity and psychological integra-
tion, Cognitive Processing 10 (Suppl. 1) (2009) S101–S109.
 J.H. Gruzelier, Enhancing creative imagination with neurofeedback in the
performing arts, in: D. Miell, R. MacDonald, D. Hargreaves (Eds.), Musical
Imaginations: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Creativity, Performance and
Perception, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2011.
Cognitive stimulation and creativity training
University of Graz, Austria
Creativity can be viewed as an essential aspect of cognitive ability.
Neuroscientiﬁc studies on creative cognition have already helped
to identify some robust neurophysiological correlates indicative
of creative brain states. From a practical point of view, it is also
interesting whether creativity can be trained or stimulated, and
how the success of such interventions is reﬂected at the level of
the brain. We have set up a computer-based creativity training,
which requires participants to perform a large number of different
divergent thinking tasks. A pretest–posttest evaluation revealed
that the employed verbal creativity training proved to be effective
in enhancing ideational ﬂuency (Benedek et al., 2006). An exam-
ination of the neurophysiological correlates of this training effect
revealed that the training group exhibited a stronger task-related
synchronization of frontal alpha activity than the control group
(Fink et al., 2006). This is in line with the notion that effective cre-
ative idea generation requires a top-down inhibition process which
prevents internal processing to become disturbed by interfering
bottom-up processes. More recently, we have also investigated the
effect of cognitive stimulation via the exposure to the ideas of other
people. This intervention is known as an effective tool for stimula-
tion of creativity in group-based techniques such as brain storming.
In an fMRI study (Fink et al., 2010), participants performed a diver-
gent thinking task, and after a given time, they were confronted
with other people’s ideas. This intervention resulted in increased