Creative females have larger white matter structures: Evidence from a large sample study

Hikaru Takeuchi, Yasuyuki Taki, Rui Nouchi, Ryoichi Yokoyama, Yuka Kotozaki, Seishu Nakagawa, Atsushi Sekiguchi, Kunio Iizuka, Yuki Yamamoto, Sugiko Hanawa, Tsuyoshi Araki, Carlos Makoto Miyauchi, Takamitsu Shinada, Kohei Sakaki, Yuko Sassa, Takayuki Nozawa, Shigeyuki Ikeda, Susumu Yokota, Magistro Daniele, Ryuta Kawashima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


The importance of brain connectivity for creativity has been theoretically suggested and empirically demonstrated. Studies have shown sex differences in creativity measured by divergent thinking (CMDT) as well as sex differences in the structural correlates of CMDT. However, the relationships between regional white matter volume (rWMV) and CMDT and associated sex differences have never been directly investigated. In addition, structural studies have shown poor replicability and inaccuracy of multiple comparisons over the whole brain. To address these issues, we used the data from a large sample of healthy young adults (776 males and 560 females; mean age: 20.8 years, SD = 0.8). We investigated the relationship between CMDT and WMV using the newest version of voxel-based morphometry (VBM). We corrected for multiple comparisons over whole brain using the permutation-based method, which is known to be quite accurate and robust. Significant positive correlations between rWMV and CMDT scores were observed in widespread areas below the neocortex specifically in females. These associations with CMDT were not observed in analyses of fractional anisotropy using diffusion tensor imaging. Using rigorous methods, our findings further supported the importance of brain connectivity for creativity as well as its female-specific association. Hum Brain Mapp 38:414–430, 2017.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)414-430
Number of pages17
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes


  • creativity
  • sex difference
  • structural connectivity
  • voxel-based morphometry
  • white matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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