Creativity in higher education: Comparative genetics

Journal of Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics


Teaching creativity is a substantial quality improvement in higher education. To demonstrate cross-functional thinking is a must for degree holders to be able to solve solutions useful for the society. Such a demand must be underlined by rational arguments. The neurobiology of creative behavior provides important information how the brain processes such activities. The subcortical mesolimbic brain areas, specifically the dopaminergic system, are of interest. The m e n t i o n e d system and its two class receptors, D1 and D2 types, seem to be key players to mediate pleasure associated with predictive, motivational, or attentional sensations linked to learning processes and creativity. In this work a comparative biological approach was used to analyze genetic polymorphisms of SNPs in humans and nonhuman primates based on phenotypical expressions of creativity in humans. This methodology was used to get a view of the phylogenetic dimension of this trait in the order of primates. 13 out of 50 chosen SNPs showed accelerated selection processes shared by humans and nonhuman primates. The results of this study confirmed the assumption that phenotypical expression of creativity is a genetically inherited feature in primates. It is suggested that such a phylogenetic approach justifies a consideration of teaching creativity in higher education. It is suggested that creativity represents an old trait in primates because the most distant relative primate used in this study diverged 25 Mya ago from humans.


Wallner, B., Windhager, S., Schäfer, K., & Fieder, M. (2017). Creativity in higher education: comparative genetic analyses on the dopaminergic system in relation to creativity, addiction, schizophrenia in humans and non-human primates. Journal of Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics, 15(6), 135–142.