The Role of Creativity in Tourette’s Syndrome

Laura Colautti, Sara Magenes, S Rago, S Camerin, C Zanaboni Dina, Alice Cancer, Alessandro Antonietti

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Tourette’s Syndrome (TS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by the presence of both vocal and motor tics with impairments in daily life. Tics are mainly caused by an over-activation of dopaminergic circuits in basal ganglia which involve the frontostriatal system. Creativity has a key role in developing alternative strategies when individuals are challenged. Considering the neural overlapping of structures involved in TS and in creative thinking, the excess of dopamine - characterizing TS - may enhance creativity, being a resource for TS patients to cope with their symptoms. On these grounds a study was conducted aimed at: 1) testing the level of creativity in TS patients; 2) investigating whether creativity can be a resource for their symptomatology. We preliminarily assessed 18 TS patients (66.7% males; age: M = 27 years ± 4.84; education: M = 16.2 13 years ± 3.44) and 18 gender-, age-, education-matched healthy controls (HCs). The Parallel lines subtest from the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking was administered to assess four parameters of creative thinking (fluency, flexibility, originality, elaboration) and the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale was used to assess tics severity. From analyses emerged that TS patients showed no significant differences in the parameters of creativity compared to HCs. However, in the TS sample patients with higher levels of flexibility perceived less personal discomfort and social impairment caused by tics than patients with lower levels of flexibility. Results highlighted the importance of cognitive flexibility to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of TS patients.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUK Creativity Researchers’ Conference - Conference Programme and Book of Abstracts
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventUK Creativity Researchers’ Conference - Londra (UK)
Duration: 18 May 202218 May 2022


ConferenceUK Creativity Researchers’ Conference
CityLondra (UK)


  • Tourette's Syndrome
  • creative thinking
  • flexibility
  • tics


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