El pensamiento creativo y su relación con el ciclo menstrual

Laura Victoria Ortega Leonard, Irma Yolanda Del Rio Portilla


Creativity, understood as a cerebral function that generates products that are both novel and practical, is one factor that allows us to better adapt to our environment. Sexual hormones, meanwhile, have effects on the central nervous system that can modify it, either temporarily or permanently. It has been shown that these two aspects are interrelated in women, as cerebral activity varies with the phases of the menstrual cycle; for example, in performance on memory-related tasks. Thus, the objective of this research was to determine whether changes in verbal and figural creativity occur during the three phases of the cycle: menstrual, follicular and luteal. The study evaluated 28 healthy women and 10 healthy men, all 18-to-25-year-old undergraduate students. Creativity was measured using the scales from the verbal and figural sections of the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT), Forms A and B (counterbalanced), in three sessions programmed to coincide with the three phases of the female subjects’ menstrual cycles. Also, the women filled out the Menstrual Distress Questionnaire (MDQ). For the male participants, the three applications were timed to coincide with the phases of the women’s cycles. Though no significant differences were observed in verbal and figural creative thinking among the phases of the menstrual cycle, significant gender differences were seen, as men achieved higher scores than women on some aspects of figural creativity when the latter were in the follicular and luteal phases. The study concludes that differences in the levels of sexual hormones between men and women influence performance on creativity tasks, and that figural creativity proved to be more sensitive to hormonal change. Finally, the factors of Intellectual Quotient (IQ) (evaluated by the WAIS test), and verbal and spatial abilities (assessed using the DAT test), were not found to have any effect on creativity.

Palabras clave

Creative thinking, menstrual cycle, verbal creativity, figural creativity.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22201/fesi.20070780.2012.4.2.34110