ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (3): 411-422.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2018.00411

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 The role of cognitive control in divergent thinking

 TENG Jing1; SHEN Wangbing2; HAO Ning1   

  1.  (1 School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China) (2 School of Public Administration and Institute of Applied Psychology, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China)
  • Received:2017-03-22 Online:2018-03-15 Published:2018-01-31
  • Contact: HAO Ning, E-mail: E-mail:E-mail:
  • Supported by:

Abstract:  The role of cognitive control in divergent thinking is one of the concerns in the field of creativity research. Many scholars consider that core cognitive control involves working memory, cognitive inhibition, and cognitive flexibility. Working memory plays an important role in task goal maintenance and the retrieval and manipulation of the task-related information during divergent thinking. Different types of cognitive inhibition may affect divergent thinking in diverse ways. For example, proponent response inhibition can be used for suppressing retrieval of common ideas; resistance to task-unrelated interference can be used for maintaining proper internally-directed attention, and low resistance to potentially irrelevant stimulus can be adopted for providing all possible combinations of concepts. In addition, as a high-order cognitive control, fluid intelligence can contribute to divergent thinking through enhancing the flexibility of strategies uses. In recent years, extensive neuroscience studies have demonstrated the involvement of cooperation between default mode network and executive control network in different stages of creative cognition. Based on present findings, future research should aim to: (1) distinguish conceptual relationships among subcomponents of cognitive control; (2) explore whether the effect of cognitive control on divergent thinking could be modulated by other potential factors, such as motivation or emotion; (3) investigate whether individual differences or task demand influence the dynamic interplay between cognitive control network and default mode network.

Key words: divergent thinking, cognitive control, working memory, cognitive inhibition, fluid intelligence

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