Scientists improve people’s creativity through electrical brain stimulation. However, this improvement happens at a cost.

Queen Mary University of LondonSixty participants were tested on their creative problem solving ability before and after receiving one of the following interventions: DLPFC being suppressed, DLPFC being activated, and DLPFC being unstimulated. The participants solved “matchstick problems,” some of which are hard, because to solve these problems, participants need to relax the learnt rules of arithmetic and algebra.

But the researchers also observed that these participants got worse at solving problems with a higher working memory demand (where many items are needed to be held in mind at once). These problems require the participants to try a number of different moves until finding the solution, which means they have to keep track of their mental operations.

Source: Science Daily <>

Original research article: Caroline Di Bernardi Luft, Ioanna Zioga, Michael J. Banissy, Joydeep Bhattacharya. Relaxing learned constraints through cathodal tDCS on the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Scientific Reports, 2017; 7 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-03022-2