The Genetic Basis for Creativity and Ideation Fluency

The authors of this paper test’s Reuter, Roth, Holve, & Hennig‘s (2006)first candidate gene for creativity. This study replicated and extended their work for a more careful analysis of five candidate genes using 147 participants. Multivariate analyses of variance indicated that ideational fluency scores were significantly associated with several genes (DAT, COMT, DRD4, and TPH1). This was apparent in both verbal and figural fluency ideation scores, before and after controlling general intelligence. Yet fluency, alone, is not an adequate measure of creativity, and the index that is by far the most important part of creativity (i.e., originality) had a negligible relationship with the genes under investigation. Hence, in contrast to earlier research, the conclusion offered here is that there is a clear genetic basis for ideational fluency, but that fluency, alone, is not sufficient to predict or guarantee creative performance. Hence, at present, the genetic basis of creativity remains uncertain.

Mark A. Runco , Ernest P. Noble, Roni Reiter-Palmon, Selcuk Acar , Terry Ritchie & Justin M. Yurkovich
Pages 376-380 | Published online: 09 Nov 2011