Books from the Imagination Institute

Seligman, M.E.P., Railton, P., Baumeister, R.F., & Sripada, C. (2016). Homo Prospectus. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Kaufman, S.B., & Gregoire, C. (2015). Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind. New York, NY: Penguin Books.

Paul, E.S., & Kaufman, S.B. (Eds.) (2014). The Philosophy of Creativity: New Essays. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Publications from Grantees

Barbot, B., (2016). Perspectives on creativity development. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development. 151, 27 39, Doi:10.1002/cad.20146.

Barbot, B. Lubart, T.I., & Besançon, M. (2016). “Peaks, slumps, and bumps”: Individual differences in the development of creativity in children and adolescents. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 151,27 39. Doi:10.1002/cad.20152.

Barbot, B., & Heuser, B. (2017). Creativity and identity formation in adolescence: A developmental perspective. In M. Karwowski & J. C. Kaufman (Eds.), The creative self. (pp. 87-98). London: Academic Press. Doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-809790-8.00005-4

Barbot, B., & Webster, P.R. (In press). The creative process in music: Insights from the naïve process of children and adolescents. In T. Lubart (Ed.), The creative process: Perspectives from multiple domains. Palgrave Macmillan.

Barbot, B., Besançon, M., & Lubart, T. (2016). The generality-specificity of creativity: Exploring the structure of creative potential with EPoC. Learning and Individual Differences, 52, 178-187.

Beaty, R.E., Benedek, M., Kaufman, S.B., & Silvia, P.J. (2015). Default and executive network coupling supports creative idea production. Nature Scientific Reports. 

Beaty, R. E., Benedek, M., Silvia, P. J., & Schacter, D. L. (2016). Creative cognition and brain network dynamics. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 20, 87-95.

Beaty, R. E., Chen, Q., Christensen, A. P., Qiu, J., Silvia, P. J., & Schacter, D. L. (in press). Brain networks of the imaginative mind: Dynamic functional connectivity of default and cognitive control networks relates to openness to experience. Human Brain Mapping.

Beaty, R. E., Christensen, A. P., Benedek, M., Silvia, P. J., & Schachter, D. L. (2017). Creative constraints: Brain activity and network dynamics underlying semantic interference during idea production. NeuroImage, 148, 189-196.

Beaty, R. E., & Jung, R. E. (in press). Interacting brain networks underlying creative cognition and artistic performance. In K. Fox & K. Christoff (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of spontaneous thought: Mind-wandering, creativity, dreaming, and clinical disorders. New York: Oxford University Press.

Beaty, R. E., Kaufman, S. B., Benedek, M., Jung, R. E., Kenett, Y. N., Jauk, E., Neubauer, A. C., Silvia, P. J. (2016). Personality and complex brain networks: The role of openness to experience in default network efficiency. Human Brain Mapping, 37, 773-779.

Beaty, R. E., Kenett, Y. N., Christensen, A. P., Rosenberg, M. D., Benedek, M., ... & Silvia, P. J. (in press). Robust prediction of individual creative ability from brain functional connectivity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Beaty, R. E., & Schacter, D. L. (in press). Creativity, self-generated thought, and the brain’s default network. In M. Karwowski & J. C. Kaufman (Eds.), Creativity and the self. Academic Press.  

Beaty, R. E., & Schacter, D. L. (in press). Episodic memory and cognitive control: Contributions to creative idea production. In R. Jung & O. Vartanian (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of the neuroscience of creativity. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Beaty, R. E., Silvia, P. J., & Benedek, M. (2017). Brain networks underlying novel metaphor production. Brain and Cognition, 111, 163-170.

Belzak, W. C., Thrash, T. M., Sim, Y. Y., & Wadsworth, L. M. (2017). Beyond hedonic and eudaimonic well-being: Inspiration and the self-transcendence tradition. Chapter to appear in M. D. Robinson & M. Eid (Eds.), The happy mind: Cognitive contributions to well-being. New York: Springer.

Benedek, M., Schües, T., Beaty, R. E., Jauk, E., Koschutnig, K., ... & Neubauer, A. C. (in press). To create or to recall original ideas: Brain processes associated with the imagination of novel object uses. Cortex.

Botella, M., Nelson, J., & Zenasni, F. (2017). It is time to observe the creative process: How to use a creative process report diary (CRD). The Journal of Creative Behavior. doi:10.1002/jocb.172

Chen, Q., Beaty, R. E., Wei, D., Yang, J., Sun, J…. & Qiu, J. (in press). Longitudinal alterations of frontoparietal and frontotemporal networks predict future creative cognitive ability. Cerebral Cortex.

Christensen, A. P., Silvia, P. J., Nusbaum, E. C., & Beaty, R. E. (in press). Clever people: Intelligence and humor production ability. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts.

Gottlieb, R., Hyde, E., Immordino-Yang, M.H., & Kaufman, S.B. (in press). Imagination is the seed of creativity. In J.C. Kaufman & R.J. Sternberg (Eds), The Cambridge Handbook of Creativity (2nd edition). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Gottlieb, R., Hyde, E., Immordino-Yang, M.H., & Kaufman, S.B. (2016). Cultivating the social-emotional imagination in gifted education: insights from educational neuroscience. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 

Gotlieb, R., Jahner, E., Immordino-Yang, M. H., & Kaufman, S. B. (2016). How social-emotional imagination facilitates deep learning and creativity in the classroom. In R. A. Beghetto & J. C. Kaufman (Eds.). Nurturing creativity in the classroom (2nd Ed.). New York: Cambridge 

Guetta, R., & Loui, P. (2017). When music is salty: The crossmodal associations between sound and taste. PLOS ONE, 12(3), e0173366.

Immordino-Yang, M. H. (2016). Emotion, sociality, and the brain’s default mode network: Insights for educational practice and policy. Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 3(2), 211-219. doi: 10.1177/2372732216656869.

Ivcevic, Z., & Nusbaum, E. C. (2017). From having an idea to doing something with it: Self-regulation for creativity. In M. Karwowski & J. C. Kaufman (Eds.), The creative self: How our beliefs, self-efficacy, mindset, and identity impact our creativity (p. 343-365). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

Immordino-Yang, M.H. & Gotlieb, R. (2017) Embodied brains, social minds, cultural meaning: Integrating neuroscientific and educational research on social-affective development. American Educational Research Journal, Centennial Issue, 54(1), 344-367.

Jung, H., Sontag, S., Park, Y. S., & Loui, P. (2015). Rhythmic effects of syntax processing in music and language. Frontiers in Psychology, 6.

Kaufman, S.B. (in press). My quest to understand human intelligence. To appear in R.J. Sternberg (Ed.), The Nature of Human Intelligence. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Kaufman, S.B. (2014). A proposed integration of the expert performance and individual differences approaches to the study of elite performance. Frontiers in Psychology, 5:707. 

Kaufman, S.B., & Duckworth, A.L. (2015). World-class expertise: A developmental model. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science. 

Kaufman, S.B., & Paul, E.S. (2014). Creativity and schizophrenia spectrum disorders across the arts and sciences. Frontiers in Psychology, 5:1145.

Kaufman, S.B., Quilty, L.C., Grazioplene, R.G., Hirsh, J.B., Gray, J.R., Peterson, J.B., & DeYoung, C.G. (2016). Openness to Experience and Intellect differentially predict creative achievement in the arts and sciences. Journal of Personality, 84, 248-258. 

Kenett, Y. N., Beaty, R. E., Silvia, P.J., Anaki, D., & Faust, M. (2016). Structure and flexibility: Investigating the relation between the structure of the mental lexicon, fluid intelligence, and creative achievement. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 10, 377-388.

Kozbelt, A., Kaufman, S.B., Walder, D.J., Ospina, L.H., & Kim, J. (2014). The evolutionary genetics of the creativity-psychosis connection. In J.C. Kaufman (Ed.), Creativity and mental illness. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. 

Lolli, S., Lewenstein, A., Basurto, J., Winnik, S., & Loui, P. (2015). Sound frequency affects speech emotion perception: Results from congenital amusia. Frontiers in Psychology, 6.

Loui, P., O’Brien, S., Sontag, S. Neural Connectivity of the Creative Mind. To appear in S. J. Lopez, L. M. Edwards, S. C. Marques (Eds.), Oxford handbook of positive psychology, 3rd edition: Oxford University Press.

Loui, P., Patterson, S., Sachs, M. E., Leung, Y., Zeng, T., & Przysinda, E. (2017). White Matter Correlates of Musical Anhedonia: Implications for Evolution of Music. Frontiers in Psychology, 8(1664).

Loui, P., Przysinda, E., Aklaff, P., Maves, K., Arkin, C., Zeng, T. (2016). Jazz improvisation as a model of the creative process: Heightened perceptual awareness and sensitivity. Proceedings of the 14th International Conference for Music Perception and Cognition. 175-179.

Madore, K. P., Thakral, P. P., Beaty, R. E., Addis, D. R., & Schacter, D. L. (in press). Neural mechanisms of episodic retrieval support divergent creative thinking. Cerebral Cortex.

Myszkowski, N., Storme, M., & Zenasni, F. (2016). Order in complexity: How Hans Eysenck brought differential psychology and aesthetics together. Personality and Individual Differences, 103, 156-162.

Myszkowski, N., & Zenasni, F. (2016). Individual differences in aesthetic ability: The case for an aesthetic quotient. Frontiers in Psychology, 7:750. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00750

Oleynick, V.C., DeYoung, C.G., Hyde, E., Kaufman, S.B., Beaty, R.E., & Silvia, P.J. (2017). Openness/Intellect: The core of the creative personality. In G.J. Feist, R. Reiter-Palmon, & J.C. Kaufman (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Creativity and Personality Research. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Przysinda, E., Zeng, T., Maves, K., Arkin, C., & Loui, P. (2017). Jazz musicians reveal role of expectancy in human creativity. Brain and Cognition, 119, 45-53.

Sachs, M. E., Ellis, R. J., Schlaug, G., & Loui, P. (2016). Brain connectivity reflects human aesthetic responses to music. Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience, 11(6), 884-891.

Scott, H., & von Stumm, S. (2017). Imagination. Encyclopedia of Individual Differences. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_2279-1.

Seligman, M.E.P., Forgeard, M., & Kaufman, S.B. (2016). Creativity and aging: What we can make with what we have left. In Seligman, M.E.P., Railton, P, Baumeister, R.F., & Sripada, C.  (Eds.), Homo Prospectus. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Silvia, P. J., Christensen, A. P., & Cotter, K. N. (2016). The development of creativity: Ability, motivation, and potential. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 151, 105-113.

Silvia, P.J., Cotter, K. N., & Christensen, A. P. (2017). The creative self in context: The everyday ecology of creativity. In M. Karwowski & J. C. Kaufman (Eds.), Creativity and the self (pp. 275-288). Oxford, UK: Elsevier.

Sun, J., & Kaufman, S.B., & Smillie, L.D. (2017). Unique associations between Big Five personality aspects and multiple dimensions of well-being. Journal of Personality.

Thrash, T. M., Maruskin, L. A., Moldovan, E. G., Oleynick, V. C., & Belzak, W. C. (2017). Writer-reader contagion of inspiration and related states: Conditional process analyses within a cross-classified writer×reader framework. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Advance online publication. doi:

Timmers, R., & Loui, P. Music and emotion. To appear in D. Levitin, J. Rentfrow (Eds.), Foundations of music psychology. MIT Press.

Tinio, P.P.L & Barbot, B. (2016). Purposeful fulfillment of creative potential. In R.A. Beghetto & B. Sriraman (Eds.), Creative contradiction in education: Cross disciplinary paradoxes and perspectives. The Netherlands: Springer.

von Stumm, S. (2017). Better open than intellectual: The benefits of investment personality traits for learning. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 1-12.

von Stumm, S. (2018). Intelligence-personality associations. Encyclopaedia of Individual Differences. (forthcoming).

Zabelina, D. L. & Andrews-Hanna, J. (2016). Dynamic network interactions supporting internally-oriented cognition. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 40, 86-93.

Zabelina, D. L. (2017). Attention and creativity. In R. E. Jung & O. Vartanian (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of the neuroscience of creativity. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Zabelina, D. L. (2017). Perseveration. In V. Zeigler-Hill & T. Shackelford (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. Berlin, Germany: Springer.

Zedelius, C. M., & Schooler, J. W. (2016). The richness of inner experience: Relating styles of daydreaming to creative processes. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, e2063.

Zedelius, C. M., & Schooler, J. W. (2017). Unraveling what’s on our minds—How diverse types of mind wandering affect cognition and behavior. In K. Fox & K. Chrisfoff (Eds.) The Oxford handbook of spontaneous thought: Mind-wandering, creativity, dreaming, and clinical conditions. Oxford University Press.

Zenasni, F., Mourgues, C., Nelson, J., Muter, C., & Myszkowski, N. (2016). How does creative giftedness differ from academic giftedness? A multidimensional conception. Learning and Individual Differences, 52, 216-223.

Creativity and Aging: What We Can Make With What We Have Left

Can creativity actually increase with age? The conclusions that can be drawn from the current body of literature clearly indicate that creativity tends to decline with age, in spite of anecdotal reports to the contrary. Let us, however, propose a counterfactual thought experiment. Let us consider, for a moment, that some individuals are indeed able to maintain and even enhance their creative abilities as they age. How could this be? Trying to answer this question is in itself an exercise in creativity that can help us understand what factors are responsible for the negative age trend. It forces us to extrude a number of putative elements of creativity and to ask which elements do in fact deteriorate with age, which elements do not, and what factors enable them to do so. Answering this is not only a matter of consolation for the authors of this book, but it might even point the way toward how to train more creativity— even among youngsters. 

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How Social-Emotional Imagination Facilitates Deep Learning and Creativity in the Classroom

Given the link between students’ personal socio-emotional qualities, creativity, and long-term achievement in the face of obstacles, how might schools support young people in developing creative dispositions toward learning – the kinds of creative dispositions that will support persistence, well- being, meaning making, and hard work? To help answer this question, we first review recent research in the emerging field of social-affective neuroscience. We then discuss the roles of future-oriented cognition, constructive internal reflection, positive constructive daydreaming, mind wandering, social- emotional reasoning, and multiculturalism on learning and creativity. We conclude with practical recommendations to help learners and supportive adults harness students’ social-emotional imagination, and hence their skills for thinking creatively, in the classroom. 

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Cultivating the Social-Emotional Imagination in Gifted Education: Insights from Educational Neuroscience

Evidence from education, psychology, and neuroscience suggests that investing in the development of the social– emotional imagination is essential to cultivating giftedness in adolescents. Nurturing these capacities may be especially effective for promoting giftedness in students who are likely to lose interest and ambition over time. Giftedness is frequently equated with high general intelligence as measured by IQ tests, but this narrow conceptualization does not adequately capture students’ abilities to utilize their talents strategically to fully realize their future possible selves. The brain’s default mode network is thought to play an important role in supporting imaginative thinking about the self and others across time. Because this network’s functioning is temporarily attenuated when individuals engage in task- and action-oriented focus (mindsets thought to engage the brain’s executive attention network), we suggest that consistently focusing students on tasks requiring immediate action could undermine long-term cultivation of giftedness. We argue that giftedness—especially in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)—can be cultivated by encouraging adolescents’ intellectual curiosity and supporting their ability to connect schoolwork to a larger purpose. Improving STEM and gifted education may depend upon a shift from knowledge transmission and regimented evaluation to creative exploration, intentional reflectiveness, and mindful switching between task focus and imagining. 

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Openness/Intellect: The Core of the Creative Personality

Openness/intellect is perhaps the broadest, most contentious, and most quintes- sentially human of the Big Five personality traits. Capacity for imagination and artistic and intellectual curiosity, central components of the openness/intellect dimension, are part of what defines and advances our species. In terms of breadth, the openness/intellect domain encompasses traits ranging from intellectual abilities to aesthetic interests to potentially maladaptive cognitive tendencies related to psychosis (DeYoung, Grazioplene, & Peterson 2012). This remarkable breadth has driven a long-standing debate over how to best inter- pret and label this dimension. In this chapter we review the history of the openness/intellect construct and summarize the empirical findings regarding the relation of creativity to the openness/intellect trait domain as a whole. Additionally, we differentiate openness/intellect into its two major subdimensions, openness and intellect, and discuss research regarding the specific relation of each to creativity. Finally, given that the link of openness/ intellect to creativity is well established, we review specific motivational, cognitive, and neurobiological processes that may help to explain this link. In so doing, we hope to paint a clearer picture of the creative person and the mechanisms underlying the creative process. 

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Personality and Complex Brain Networks: The Role of Openness to Experience in Default Network Efficiency

Roger E. Beaty, Scott Barry Kaufman, Mathias Benedek, Rex E. Jung, Yoed N. Kenett, Emanuel Jauk, Aljoscha C. Neubauer, and Paul J. Silvia 

The brain’s default network (DN) has been a topic of considerable empirical interest. In fMRI research, DN activity is associated with spontaneous and self-generated cognition, such as mind-wandering, episodic memory retrieval, future thinking, mental simulation, theory of mind reasoning, and creative cogni- tion. Despite large literatures on developmental and disease-related influences on the DN, surprisingly little is known about the factors that impact normal variation in DN functioning. Using structural equation modeling and graph theoretical analysis of resting-state fMRI data, we provide evidence that Openness to Experience— a normally distributed personality trait reflecting a tendency to engage in imaginative, creative, and abstract cognitive processes—underlies efficiency of information processing within the DN. Across two studies, Openness predicted the global efficiency of a functional network comprised of DN nodes and corresponding edges. In Study 2, Openness remained a robust predictor—even after controlling for intelligence, age, gender, and other personality variables—explaining 18% of the variance in DN functioning. These findings point to a biological basis of Openness to Experience, and suggest that normally distributed personality traits affect the intrinsic architecture of large-scale brain systems.  

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World-Class Expertise: A Developmental Model

Scott Barry Kaufman and Angela Duckworth

The field of psychology has done a remarkable job discovering the ways people dif- fer from one another in their abilities and talents, but has long neglected the diverse ways people can unleash those capacities. There is no plausible mechanism by which our genes directly encode skills like how to dribble a basketball, play the vio- lin, or solve an algebraic equation. We are not born knowing how to write a sonnet or flip an omelet. On the contrary, all human expertise—even at the far-right tail of the distribution—depends on experience and training. A more accurate understanding of the development of high achievement should inspire people to push beyond their perceived and often self-imposed limits to reach heights they never would have imagined possible. 

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Default and Executive Network Coupling Supports Creative Idea Production

Roger E. Beaty, Mathias Benedek, Scott Barry Kaufman, and Paul J. Silvia

The role of attention in creative cognition remains controversial. Neuroimaging studies have reported activation of brain regions linked to both cognitive control and spontaneous imaginative processes, raising questions about how these regions interact to support creative thought. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we explored this question by examining dynamic interactions between brain regions during a divergent thinking task. Multivariate pattern analysis revealed a distributed network associated with divergent thinking, including several core hubs of the default (posterior cingulate) and executive (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) networks. The resting-state network affiliation of these regions was confirmed using data from an independent sample of participants. Graph theory analysis assessed global efficiency of the divergent thinking network, and network efficiency was found to increase as a function of individual differences in divergent thinking ability. Moreover, temporal connectivity analysis revealed increased coupling between default and salience network regions (bilateral insula) at the beginning of the task, followed by increased coupling between default and executive network regions at later stages. Such dynamic coupling suggests that divergent thinking involves cooperation between brain networks linked to cognitive control and spontaneous thought, which may reflect focused internal attention and the top-down control of spontaneous cognition during creative idea production.

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Openness to Experience and Intellect Differentially Predict Creative Achievement in the Arts and Sciences

Scott Barry Kaufman, Lena C. Quilty, Rachael G. Grazioplene, Jacob B. Hirsh, Jeremy R. Gray, Jordan B. Peterson, and Colin G. DeYoung

The Big Five personality dimension Openness/Intellect is the trait most closely associated with creativity and creative achievement. Little is known, however, regarding the discriminant validity of its two aspects—Openness to Experience (reflecting cognitive engagement with perception, fantasy, aesthetics, and emotions) and Intellect (reflecting cognitive engagement with abstract and semantic information, primarily through reasoning)—in relation to creativity. In four demographically diverse samples totaling 1,035 participants, we investigated the independent predictive validity of Openness and Intellect by assessing the relations among cognitive ability, divergent thinking, personality, and creative achievement across the arts and sciences. We confirmed the hypothesis that whereas Openness predicts creative achievement in the arts, Intellect predicts creative achievement in the sciences. Inclusion of performance measures of general cognitive ability and divergent thinking indicated that the relation of Intellect to scientific creativity may be due at least in part to these abilities. Lastly, we found that Extraversion additionally predicted creative achievement in the arts, independently of Openness. Results are discussed in the context of dual-process theory. 

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Creativity and Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders Across the Arts and Sciences

Scott Barry Kaufman

Researchers agree that mental illness is neither necessary nor sufficient for creativity. But is there still a significant link between the two?

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A Proposed Integration of the Expert Performance and Individual Differences Approaches to the Study

Scott Barry Kaufman

Important contributors to scientific progress are accurate framing of the issues, standing on a common ground of assumptions, and investigating the influence of traits on the development of expertise.

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Navigating Into the Future or Driven by the Past

Martin E. P. Seligman, Peter Railton, Roy F. Baumeister, and Chandra Sripada

Prospection (Gilbert & Wilson, 2007), the representation of possible futures, is a ubiquitous feature of the human mind. Much psychological theory and practice, in contrast, has understood human action as determined by the past and viewed any such teleology (selection of action in light of goals) as a violation of natural law because the future cannot act on the present. Prospection involves no backward causation; rather, it is guidance not by the future itself but by present, evaluative representations of possible future states. These representations can be understood minimally as “If X, then Y” conditionals, and the process of prospection can be understood as the generation and evaluation of these conditionals. We review the history of the attempt to cast teleology out of science, culminating in the failures of behaviorism and psychoanalysis to account adequately for action without teleology. A wide range of evidence suggests that prospection is a central organizing feature of perception, cognition, affect, memory, motivation, and action. The authors speculate that prospection casts new light on why subjectivity is part of consciousness, what is “free” and “willing” in “free will,” and on mental disorders and their treatment. Viewing behavior as driven by the past was a powerful framework that helped create scientific psychology, but accumulating evidence in a wide range of areas of research suggests a shift in framework, in which navigation into the future is seen as a core organizing principle of animal and human behavior.

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