neuropeptides improved the capacity to process stimuli when no suppression of irrelevant stimuli was required. However, in a selective attention paradigm, when suppression of irrelevant stimuli is required, these neuropeptides impaired the performance ( Born, Fehm, & Voigt, 1986). Creativity is defined here as the conceiving of something new. It is affected by many factors (education, inherited disposition, distress, knowledge, ambition, working conditions, etc.). The subconscious is important because it stores much more information than one is aware of, and it is here, according to Ochse ( 1990) and others, that creativity unfolds. Access to the subconscious is better when arousal is low. If ACTH/MSH neuropeptides increase arousal, they might have a negative effect on creativity. However, because these peptides can block selective attention, the amount of information in the subconscious may increase. This might have a positive effect on creativity. These considerations do not offer an answer to the question as to whether ACTH/MSH neuropeptides stimulate creativity, and it is therefore suggested that the influence of these neuropeptides on creativity in human volunteers be investigated.
This chapter is dedicated to Dr. Robert Isaacson, a creative scientist.
Bohus B., & De D. Wied ( 1980). "Pituitary-adrenal system hormones and adaptive behavior". In I. C. Jones & I. W. Henderson (Eds.), General, comparative and clinical endocrinology of the adrenal cortex (pp. 265-347). London: Academic Press.
Born J., Fehm-Wolfsdorf G., Schiebe M., Rockstroh B., Fehm H. L., & Voigt K. H. ( 1984). "Dishabituating effects of an ACTH 4-9 analog in a vigilance task". Pharmacolology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 21, 513-519.
Born J., Fehm-Wolfsdorf G., Nagel D. J., Voigt K. H., & Fehm H. L. ( 1985). "An ACTH 4-9 analog impairs selective attention in man". Life Sciences, 36, 2117-2125.
Born J., Fehm H. L., & Voigt K. H. ( 1986). "ACTH and attention in humans: A review". Neuropsychobiology, 15, 165-186.
Bowers K. S. ( 1981). Knowing more than we can say leads to saying more than we can know. In D. Magnussen (Ed.), Toward a psychology of situations in an international perspective. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Davis G. A. ( 1989). "Testing for creative potential". Contemporary Educational Psychology, 14, 257-274.
De D. Wied ( 1964). "Influence of anterior pituitary on avoidance learning and escape behavior". American Journal of Physiology, 207, 255-259.
De D. Wied ( 1965). "The influence of the posterior and intermediate lobe of the pituitary and pituitary peptides on the maintenance of a conditioned avoidance response in rats". International Journal of Neuropharmacology, 4, 157-167.