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Anna Abraham

  • E. Paul Torrance Professor of Creativity and Gifted Education, Department of Educational Psychology

  • Director, Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development

Portrait of Anna Abraham

Contact Information


Affiliated Units

Areas of Expertise

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

Research 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)

Programs of Study

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


  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.


  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.


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