Creativity Camp Aims to Advance New Interventions for Adolescent Mental Health
In June, a multidisciplinary team from across the U—from psychiatry, to arts, to biostatistics—held the first of three Creativity Camps for adolescents. Held at MIDB and the Weisman Art Museum, each two-week camp is designed to help young people with depression shift out of negative thought patterns through engagement in creative activities.
Using MIDB's state-of-the-art neuroimaging services, the researchers look at participants’ brains before and after camp to understand how creative interventions might impact cognitive flexibility and changes in their condition.
“I’m all about finding more options to try to help kids,” said Kathryn Cullen, MD, the project’s principal investigator. “I also think it will help us learn about the neuroscience of creativity, and hopefully, we’ll be able to come up with a brain scan that can really capture the creative moment.”
At the conclusion of the Creativity Camp, the research group will meet with the participants, their families and communities at the Weisman Art Museum to view the art created during camp and to have a broader conversation about the lessons learned during the intervention.
The long-term hope is that an intervention targeting creativity and flexibility will offer an alternative therapy option for adolescents.
Funded through a Minnesota Futures Award by the Office of the Vice President for Research, the project’s co-investigators include:
- Abimbola Asojo, PhD, Interior Design, College of Design
- Gail Bernstein, MD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
- Mark Fiecas, PhD, Division of Biostatistics, School of Public Health
- Bonnie Klimes-Dougan, PhD, Department of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts
- Wilma Koutstaal, PhD, Department of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts
- Bryon Mueller, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical School
- Angie Mejia Medina, PhD, Sociology, University of Minnesota Rochester
- Boris Oicherman, PhD, Weisman Art Museum
- Yuko Taniguchi, MFA, Medicine and Arts, Center for Learning Innovation, University of Minnesota Rochester
- Peng Wu, MFA, Department of Art, St. Cloud State University