Review| Volume 57, P230-233, April 2016

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Epilepsy treatment and creativity

Published:January 28, 2016DOI:


      • There has been little study of how treatment of epilepsy through medication, surgery or neurostimulation may affect the creativity and its expression
      • The neuronal circuits thought to underlie creativity are also commonly involved in epileptogenic networks.
      • Medications may impact cognitive processes critical to creative expression such as arousal and motivation
      • Ablative epilepsy surgery has been shown to disrupt aesthetic preferences and musical abilities, which may impact creative expression.


      Creativity can be defined as the ability to understand, develop, and express, in a systematic fashion, novel orderly relationships. It is sometimes difficult to separate cognitive skills requisite for the creative process from the drive that generates unique new ideas and associations. Epilepsy itself may affect the creative process. The treatment of epilepsy and its comorbidities, by altering or disrupting the same neural networks through antiseizure drugs (ASDs), treatment of epilepsy comorbidities, ablative surgery, or neurostimulation may also affect creativity. In this review, we discuss the potential mechanisms by which treatment can influence the creative process and review the literature on the consequences of therapy on different aspects of creativity in people with epilepsy.
      This article is part of a Special Issue entitled “Epilepsy, Art, and Creativity”.


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