creativity-sensoryInteresting report from Northwestern University found that people with “leaky attention” are more likely to have higher levels of real-world creativity.


“…creative achievement in our study was associated with leaky sensory gating. This phy- biological effect concords with our prior behavioral evidence that creative achievement is associated with leaky attention (Zabelina et al.,2015), and demonstrates that it happens early in the processing stream. Given that there were no task requirements and stimuli were meaningless, this reduced sensory gating may indicate that a leaky sensory filter is a general neural processing characteristic related to real-world creative achievement. Thus, real-world creative achievers appear to have reduced filtering of information, which may be the mechanism for their wider focus on a larger range of stimuli (Mendelsohn and Griswold,1964; Russell, 1976), and their ability to make connections between distantly related concepts or ideas (Ansburg and Hill, 2003). In conjunction with other protective factors, such as cognitive control,reduced sensory gating may be what is needed for real-world creative achievements. In the absence of strong cognitive control (or other protective factors), leaky sensory gating may be a risk factor for attention disorders…”

Sensory gating and creativity Some of you may remember that Mark Beeman presented at our Conference on Dyslexia and Innovation in the Bay Area this past March.

His recorded lecture is shared below.


Press release on research
Creativity and Sensory Gating Research