Spatial working memory, not IQ or executive function, discriminates early psychosis and clinically vulnerable creative individuals

Journal article


Crabtree, Julie, Hudson, Jennifer L. and Brockman, Robert. (2021). Spatial working memory, not IQ or executive function, discriminates early psychosis and clinically vulnerable creative individuals. Early Intervention in Psychiatry. 15(1), pp. 47-56. https://doi.org/10.1111/eip.12909
AuthorsCrabtree, Julie, Hudson, Jennifer L. and Brockman, Robert
Abstract

Aim
While associations between creativity and psychopathology have been well researched, the specific cognitive processes that distinguish highly creative from those with psychopathology warrant further investigation. This study will examine whether IQ, executive function, cognitive inhibition or spatial working memory differentiate individuals with early psychosis, clinically vulnerable creative individuals, creative controls and non-creative controls.

Methods
The study sample consisted of 110 participants: early psychosis (n = 21); clinically vulnerable creative controls (n = 25); creative controls (n = 30) and non-creative control (n = 34). The Diagnostic Interview for Psychosis assessed early psychosis participants and the Mini Neuropsychiatric Interview was used to screen for psychopathology in the remaining groups. Several cognitive tests were administered: IQ, neurocognitive measures of executive function and spatial working memory. Creativity was assessed using the Torrance Test of Creativity and Creative Achievement Questionnaire. A measure of vividness of mental imagery was also given.

Results
Across all cognitive tests, spatial working memory differentiated the early psychosis group from both creative and non-creative control groups. Spatial working memory predicted group membership but vivid imagery was a better predictor of creative achievement. The early psychosis, clinically vulnerable creative and creative groups all recorded significantly higher results on creative achievement and creative cognition compared to non-creative controls.

Conclusions
Our results provide further support for spatial working memory as an early neuro-cognitive marker for early psychosis. Spatial working memory, rather than IQ or executive function, may also be an early protective factor for clinically vulnerable young creative individuals.

Keywordscognition; creativity; early psychosis; spatial working memory
Year2021
JournalEarly Intervention in Psychiatry
Journal citation15 (1), pp. 47-56
PublisherWiley
ISSN1751-7885
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/eip.12909
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85077894099
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range47-56
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online07 Jan 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted14 Dec 2019
Deposited07 Sep 2021
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