‘‘Close, and ye shall find’’: eye closure during thinking enhances creativity

Fumiya Yonemitsu, Kyoshiro Sasaki, Akihiko Gobara, Koji Kosugi, Yuki Yamada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Facilitation of creative thinking is an important element for innovation. It has been suggested that cognitive resources are involved in creative thinking; however, little evidence of this involvement has been found. To address this issue, the present study focuses on eye closure, which saves more cognitive resources than open eyes. Forty participants experienced both close-eyed and open-eyed conditions, and all of them were asked to generate new names for rice and tea. The results revealed that in the close-eyed condition, participants generated 1.6-times more divergent (unrestricted and flexible) ideas than in the open-eyed condition, suggesting that closing eyes during thinking enhances creativity. Our findings provide empirical evidence for the necessity of cognitive resources in creative thinking.

Original languageEnglish
Article number80
JournalPalgrave Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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