We鈥檝e all been in the middle of a creative block so vast, you feel like you鈥檒l never produce another painting, piece of jewelry, word or photograph again. And we all have our tricks for overcoming those uninspired feelings, whether it鈥檚 distracting yourself with something mundane, reading a聽new creativity book聽or scrolling through a newsletter for creatives. But have you ever thought about stimulating your brain with electricity!? We鈥檙e guessing no, but a new study out of Georgetown is trying to convince you otherwise.


Researchers found in the聽study,聽recently published in Cerebral Cortex online, that 鈥渟afe levels鈥 of electric stimulation to your brain can 鈥渆nhance your capacity to think more creatively.鈥澛燝eorgetown psychology professor Adam Green and Dr. Peter Turkeltaub of Georgetown University Medical Center and their team used聽Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) to stimulate the frontopolar cortex, which is known to be associated specifically with creativity.


The research team applied tDCS while also giving the volunteers verbal cues to think creatively. They found that the pairing helped the subjects put together creative connections between words in ways they couldn鈥檛 without the stimulation.

Green says 鈥渨e focused on creativity as a dynamic state that can change quickly within an individual when they 鈥榩ut their thinking cap on.'鈥 He鈥檚聽optimistic about the findings, saying they 鈥渙ffer the new suggestion that giving individuals a 鈥榸ap鈥 of electrical stimulation can enhance the brain鈥檚 natural thinking cap boost in creativity.鈥


Save for artists queuing up at the lab during a particularly bad bout of creative block, there are practical, real-life applications to the study鈥檚 findings. 鈥淧eople with speech and language difficulties often can鈥檛 find or produce the words they need,鈥 Turkeltaub聽explains. 鈥淓nhancing creative analogical reasoning might allow them to find alternate ways of expressing their ideas using different words, gestures or other approaches to convey a similar meaning.鈥

And while we鈥檙e pretty sure we don鈥檛 need to tell you this, Green cautions that administering electric currents to anyone outside a controlled medical environment is extremely dangerous. Noted, doc!

What are some ways you stimulate your creative center (sans electronic zaps)? Tweet us @BritandCo and let us know!

(Photos via Getty)