Research in Psychology and Behavioral Sciences
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Research in Psychology and Behavioral Sciences. 2018, 6(1), 1-8
DOI: 10.12691/rpbs-6-1-1
Open AccessArticle

In the Blink of an Eye: Ocular Proxies of Neurotransmitters Predict Creative Ability

Heather McDonald1, Léa M. Martinon2 and Leigh M. Riby2,

1Department of Psychology, King’s College, London, UK

2Department of Psychology, Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK

Pub. Date: February 05, 2018

Cite this paper:
Heather McDonald, Léa M. Martinon and Leigh M. Riby. In the Blink of an Eye: Ocular Proxies of Neurotransmitters Predict Creative Ability. Research in Psychology and Behavioral Sciences. 2018; 6(1):1-8. doi: 10.12691/rpbs-6-1-1

Abstract

Previous research suggests that eye blink rates (EBR) can be used as an index for dopamine activity (DA) and therefore a potential marker of creative aptitude. In addition, another putative index of creativity has been linked to the neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT) and eye blink duration (EBD). The current pilot study aimed to investigate whether both EBR and EBD could be used as predictors of creativity and if mood would influence these measures. Vertical electrooculograms were gathered from 12 participants, during three conditions, to enable subsequent EBR and EBD to be calculated. The three conditions comprised eyes open baseline, viewing images from the International Affective Picture System (IAPS) of positive and finally negative valence. Dispositional measures of creativity were measured post task using the Creative Styles Questionnaire-revised. Higher EBR was significantly related to higher scores on subcategories ‘Use of Techniques’ and ‘Use of Other People’. In addition, shorter EBD significantly correlated with higher scores of global creativity, ‘Use of Techniques’ and ‘Use of the Senses’. Results confirm that EBR and EBD can be used as predictors for creativity and may reflect DA/5-HT activity. Implications of the results are discussed in relation to specific characteristics, techniques and underlying mechanisms of creativity and how neurotransmitters drive such ability.

Keywords:
dopamine serotonin eye blinks emotion creativity mood IAPS

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