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A Study on the Effect of Methylphenidate on Creativity of Healthy Adults

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01683032
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : September 11, 2012
Last Update Posted : November 19, 2014
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Shalvata Mental Health Center

Brief Summary:
Creative cognition plays an important role in art, invention and innovation, as well as in everyday life and thus has a significant effect on society as a whole. Research with healthy, normal participants and those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder indicates a possible inverse relationship between attentional function and creativity. This evidence raises the possibility that Methylphenidate (MPH; Ritalin) could decrease creativity in people using it for cognitive enhancement. However, this question has not been addressed by previous studies. Hence, the present study aims to examine the effect of MPH on creativity in healthy young adults.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
MPH Influence on Creativity Drug: MPH Not Applicable

  Show Detailed Description

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 38 participants
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Triple (Participant, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Study Start Date : October 2012
Actual Primary Completion Date : May 2013
Actual Study Completion Date : August 2014

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Experimental: Healthy adults
Participants, aged 21-40 years, will be recruited through an advertisement posted at the University of Haifa (including the website of Haifa University).
Drug: MPH
a capsule containing 20 mg
Other Name: methylphenidate

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. The Alternate Uses Task [ Time Frame: 30 min ]
    This is a standard measure of divergent thinking, whose stimuli and responses are verbal. Subjects will be presented with a list of six common objects (shoe , can, stapler, tire, drinking glass, cardboard box) and will be asked to list as many alternate uses as possible for each object, within a ten minute time limit (the most common everyday use is indicated in parenthesis). Fluency, flexibility and originality will be scored. Original responses will be defined as statistically infrequent responses according to a pretest conducted in our lab

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Remote Associates Test (RAT) [ Time Frame: 20 min ]
    The task in a RAT problem is, given three words, to find a fourth word that connects them. (For example, lick, mine, shaker: Answer, salt.) RAT problems require problem solvers to search for distantly related information, and have become a benchmark test of creativity).

  2. The Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART): [ Time Frame: 10 min ]
    A computerized task of risk-taking behavior in both healthy individuals and in neurological and psychiatric populations. Participants will be able to acquire money by inflating a balloon shown on the computer screen by pressing a key on the keyboard, knowing, however, that the balloon can explode at any time, resulting in the loss of the potential gain. Thus, the participant must balance the potential gain of accruing more money against the potential risk of losing all the money accrued for that balloon.

  3. The Evaluation Task [ Time Frame: 10 min ]
    In the evaluation task participants will be presented with responses of other participants who had performed the AUT previously (with six different items). They will be instructed to rate the general levels of appropriateness of each response and then rate the subcomponents of appropriateness namely, uniqueness, usefulness and deviance by using a 5 points rating scales (ranging from 'not at all' to 'highly' appropriate/unique/useful/deviant).

  4. Torrance Tests for Creative Thinking (TTCT): [ Time Frame: 10 min ]
    the circles subset of the figural part of the TTCT will be used. Participants will be presented with a page of circle. They will be instructed to produce as many different drawings as possible within a time limit of 10 min. Participants will be asked to think of drawings they think no one else could think of. Answers will be scored on fluency, flexibility and originality based on Torrance

  5. Motivation from having an effect [ Time Frame: 12 min ]
    three blocks of trials in which participants respond to colored circles rapidly descanting from the top of the screen. They are then probed from their experience with the task and their motivation to perform it.

  6. visual selection and awareness [ Time Frame: 3 min ]
    a 1-trail task in which participants are oriented to either the inner or outer of two concentric colored circles and then are asked to report the color of both task relevant (oriented) and task irrelevant circles

Other Outcome Measures:
  1. Raven Progressive Matrices Test Verbal fluency [ Time Frame: 20 min ]
    1. Verbal fluency: Verbal fluency will be assessed using two items taken from the Controlled Oral Word Association Test (COWAT). In this test the participants are instructed to, during one minute each, generate words beginning with a given letter . All words, except proper nouns and names, are allowed.
    2. Raven Progressive Matrices Test which assesses non-verbal intelligence

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   21 Years to 40 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

Participants, aged 21-40 years

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. People diagnosed with a psychiatric clinical disorder and /or taking psychotropic drugs (whether prescription drugs, herbal extracts or illegal drugs), which may impair their performance in tasks that are used in the study).
  2. People for whom there is a contra-indication for consuming Ritalin:

    People who are or were diagnosed with cardiac medical condition, hypertension, liver damage, glaucoma or neurologic disorders (e.g. epilepsy, CVA, parkinson's, Aneurism, brain SOL, MS).

  3. Pregnant or nursing women; female participants will be required to report whether they are pregnant, and in case they are, they will not participate.
  4. Reported use of drugs at the previous 30 days.

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Responsible Party: Shalvata Mental Health Center Identifier: NCT01683032     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: SHA -0011-12
First Posted: September 11, 2012    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: November 19, 2014
Last Verified: November 2014

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Central Nervous System Stimulants
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Dopamine Uptake Inhibitors
Neurotransmitter Uptake Inhibitors
Membrane Transport Modulators
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Dopamine Agents
Neurotransmitter Agents