Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts
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Research and Education

Roger Beaty

Roger Beaty
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology
Roger Beaty


Our lab examines neural and cognitive mechanisms of creative thinking. In particular, we study the roles of memory systems and cognitive control in creative thought. One area of our research uses fMRI to characterize brain networks supporting divergent thinking. A goal of this work is to identify cognitive processes associated with patterns of functional brain connectivity during idea generation. We also study creative thinking in the context of figurative language production, focusing on novel metaphor.

Research Interests:

cognitive neuroscience, creative thinking, metaphor production


2018 and in press

Beaty, R. E., Seli, P., & Schacter, D. L. (in press). Network neuroscience of creative cognition: Mapping cognitive mechanisms and individual differences in the creative brain. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences.
Beaty, R. E., Seli, P., & Schacter, D. L. (in press). Thinking about the past and future in daily life: An experience sampling investigation of individual differences in mental time travel. Psychological Research.
Beaty, R. E., Thakral, P. P., Madore, K. P., Benedek, M., & Schacter, D. L. (in press). Core network contributions to remembering the past, imagining the future, and thinking creatively. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. 
Kenett, Y. N., Beaty, R. E., & Medaglia, J. D. (in press). A network control theory analysis of preclinical depression. Personality Neuroscience. 
Kenett, Y. N., Medaglia, J. D., Beaty, R. E., Chen, Q., Betzel, R. F., Thompson-Schill, S. L., & Qiu, J. (in press). Driving the brain towards creativity and intelligence: A network control theory analysis. Neuropsychologia.
Beaty, R. E., Chen, Q., Christensen, A. P., Qiu, J., Silvia, P. J., & Schacter, D. L. (2018). Brain networks of the imaginative mind: Dynamic functional connectivity of default and cognitive control networks relates to Openness to Experience. Human Brain Mapping, 39, 811-821.
Beaty, R. E., Kenett, Y. N., Christensen, A. P., Rosenberg, M. D., Benedek, M…& Silvia, P. J. (2018). Robust prediction of individual creative ability from brain functional connectivity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115, 1087-1092.
Benedek, M., Schues, T., Beaty, R. E., Jauk, E., Koschutnig, K., Fink, A., & Neubauer, A. C. (2018). To create or to recall original ideas: Brain processes associated with the imagination of novel object uses. Cortex, 99, 93-102.
Christensen, A. P., Kenett, Y. N., Cotter, K. N., Beaty, R. E., & Silvia, P. J. (2018). Remotely close associations: Openness to experience and semantic memory structure. European Journal of Personality, 32, 480-492.
Christensen, A. P., Silvia, P. J., Nusbaum, E. C., & Beaty, R. E. (2018). Clever people: Intelligence and humor production ability. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 12, 136-143.
Maillet, D., Beaty, R. E., Jordano, M. L., Touron, D. R., Silvia, P. J. …& Kane, M. J. (2018). Age-related differences in mind-wandering in daily life. Psychology and Aging, 33, 643-653.
Beaty, R. E., Christensen, A. P., Benedek, M., Silvia, P. J., & Schacter, D. L. (2017). Creative constraints: Brain activity and network dynamics underlying semantic interference during idea production. NeuroImage, 148, 189-196.
Beaty, R. E., Silvia, P. J., & Benedek, M. (2017). Brain networks underlying novel metaphor production. Brain and Cognition, 111, 163-170.
Madore, K. P., Thakral, P. P., Beaty, R. E., Addis, D. R., & Schacter, D. L. (2017). Neural mechanisms of episodic retrieval support divergent creative thinking. Cerebral Cortex, doi:10.1093/cercor/bhx312.
Nusbaum, E. C., Silvia, P. J., & Beaty, R. E. (2017). Ha ha? Assessing individual differences in humor production ability. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 11, 231-241.
Silvia, P. J., Nusbaum, E. C., & Beaty, R. E. (2017). Old or new? Evaluating the old/new scoring method for divergent thinking tasks. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 51, 216-224.
Vartanian, O., Vartanian, A., Beaty, R. E., Nusbaum, E. C., Blackler, K., Lam, Q., ... & Silvia, P. J. (2017). Revered today, loved tomorrow: Expert creativity ratings predict popularity of architects’ works 50 years later. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 11, 386-391.
Zhu, W., Chen, Q., Xia, L., Beaty, R. E., Yang, W., Tian, F., ... & Qiu, J. (2017). Common and distinct brain networks underlying verbal and visual creativity. Human Brain Mapping, 38, 2094-2111.
Beaty, R. E., Benedek, M., Silvia, P. J., & Schacter, D. L. (2016). Creative cognition and brain network dynamics. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 20, 87-95.
Beaty, R. E., Kaufman, S. B., Benedek, M., Jung, R. E., Kenett, Y. N., Jauk, E…& Silvia, P. J. (2016). Personality and complex brain networks: The role of openness to experience in default network efficiency. Human Brain Mapping, 37, 773-779.
Benedek, M., Jauk, E., Beaty, R. E., Fink, A., Koschutnig, K., & Neubauer, A. C. (2016). Brain mechanisms associated with internally directed attention and self-generated thought. Scientific Reports, 6, 22959.
Chen, Q., Beaty, R. E., Wei, D., Yang, J., Sun, J., Liu, W., ... & Qiu, J. (2016). Longitudinal alterations of frontoparietal and frontotemporal networks predict future creative cognitive ability. Cerebral Cortex, 28, 103-115.
Kenett, Y. N., Beaty, R. E., Silvia, P. J., Anaki, D., & Faust, M. (2016). Structure and flexibility: Investigating the relation between the structure of the mental lexicon, fluid intelligence, and creative achievement. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 10, 377.
Silvia, P. J., Thomas, K. S., Nusbaum, E. C., Beaty, R. E., & Hodges, D. A. (2016). How does music training predict cognitive abilities? A bifactor approach to musical expertise and intelligence. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 10, 184-190.
Thomas, K. S., Silvia, P. J., Nusbaum, E. C., Beaty, R. E., & Hodges, D. A. (2016). Openness to experience and auditory discrimination ability in music: An investment approach. Psychology of Music, 44, 792-801.