Convergent thinking and traumatic brain injury: an investigation of performance on the remote associate test

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OBJECTIVE: While deficits in several cognitive domains following moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) have been well documented, little is known about the impact of TBI on creativity. In the current study, our goal is to determine whether convergent problem solving, which contributes to creative thinking, is impaired following TBI.

METHODS: We administered a test of convergent problem solving, the Remote Associate Task (RAT), as well as a battery of neuropsychological tests, to 29 individuals with TBI and 20 healthy comparisons.

RESULTS: A mixed-effect regression analysis revealed that individuals with TBI were significantly less likely to produce a correct response, although on average they attempted to respond to the same number of items. Moreover, we found that the TBI (but not the comparison) group's performance on the RAT was significantly and positively associated with verbal learning and memory, providing further evidence supporting the association between declarative memory and creative convergent thinking.

CONCLUSION: In summary, our findings reveal that convergent thinking can be compromised by moderate-to-severe TBI, furthering our understanding of the higher-level cognitive sequelae of TBI.


The version of record is available from the publisher at https://doi.org/10.1080/02699052.2018.1483031.

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