What Cognitive Neuroscience Tells Us About Creativity Education: A Literature Review


  • Kai Zhou State University of New York at Albany


creativity, nature and nurture, neuroscience, skills, educational policy


Recently, an interest in creativity education has increased globally. Cognitive neuroscience research of creativity has provided possible implications for education, yet few literary reviews that bridge the brain and education studies have been published. This article first introduces the definitions and behavioral measures of creativity from cognitive neuroscientists’ perspectives and provides a brief overview on the brain regions and neural studies on creativity-related cognitive processes.  Second, the article examines neuroscience studies on the relationship between creativity and intelligence and discusses the nature side of creativity. Third, a comprehensive review of cognitive neuroscience studies on activities that may trigger new creativity thinking is provided, followed by a discussion on the nurture side of creativity--more specifically--how these findings inform creativity education. Supportive evidence from research in cognitive psychology and education are also presented. Then the article discusses the policy implications of the findings from the literature review as they pertain to creativity skills development in formal education and training. 

Author Biography

Kai Zhou, State University of New York at Albany

Kai Zhou is a senior administrator and research analyst at
Orange County Public Schools, Florida. She is also a doctoral
candidate from the Department of Educational Policy and
Leadership, University at Albany, State University of New
York. Her articles have appeared in European Journal of
Education, The International Journal of Higher Education
Research and the UNESCO Global Monitoring Report. Her
research interests are currently focused on the relationship
between soft skills, education and labor market outcomes.