Anna Abraham

Areas of Expertise

  • Creativity
  • Imagination
  • Reality-fiction distinction
  • Mental time travel
  • Mental state reasoning
  • Self-referential thinking
  • Social cognition & behavior
  • Neurophilosophy

Interests

  • Neuroscience of creativity (fMRI; EEG/ERP; neuropsychology)
  • Psychology of creativity (cognition; development across lifespan; personality)
  • Cross-disciplinary study of the imagination (aesthetics, imagery, intentionality, altered states)

Academic Affiliations

Education

  •  PhD in Neuroscience, 2004
    Ruhr University Bochum, Germany
  •  MSc in Psychology, 2001
    University of Essex, UK
  •  BA (Hons) in Psychology, 1998
    Lady Shri Ram College, University of Delhi, India

Contact

 Aderhold Hall, Room 123D & Room 325C

Research Summary

Professor Abraham studies the cognitive and brain basis of creativity and other aspects of the human imagination including the reality-fiction distinction, mental time travel, self-referential and social cognition, and mental state reasoning. Her educational and professional training has been within the disciplines of psychology and neuroscience, and she has worked across a diverse range of academic institutions and departments the world over, all of which have informed her multidisciplinary focus.

Selected Publications

Books

  1. Abraham A (Ed) (2020). The Cambridge Handbook of the Imagination. Cambridge University Press.
  2. Abraham A (2018). The Neuroscience of Creativity. Cambridge University Press.

Articles

  1. Asquith SA, Wang X, Quintana D & Abraham A (in press). Predictors of Creativity in Young People: Using Frequentist and Bayesian Approaches in Estimating the Importance of Individual and Contextual Factors. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts.
  2. Abraham A (2019). The neuropsychology of creativity. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 27, 71-76.
  3. Abraham A, Asquith S, Ahmed H & Bourisly AK (2019). Comparing the efficacy of four brief inductions in boosting short-term creativity. Journal of Cognitive Enhancement, 3, 85-93.
  4. Abraham A (2018). The wandering mind: Where imagination meets consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies. 25, 34-52.
  5. Abraham A, Rutter B, Bantin T & Hermann C (2018). Creative conceptual expansion: A combined fMRI replication and extension study to examine individual differences in creativity. Neuropsychologia, 118, 29-39.
  6. Abraham A (2016). The imaginative mind. Human Brain Mapping, 37, 4197-4211.
  7. Abraham A (2016). Gender and creativity: An overview of psychological and neuroscientific literature. Brain Imaging & Behavior, 10, 609-618.
  8. Abraham A & Bubic A (2015). Semantic memory as the root of imagination. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 325.