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L-tyrosine may aid deep thinking
Prompted in part by Steve Jobs’ claim that eating fruit made him more creative, doctors in this study gave 32 people an orange juice drink, alone or with 2 grams of the amino acid l-tyrosine, in two alternating phases. Researchers tested two types of creativity: divergent and convergent.

Divergent thinking asks for diverse solutions to basic problems, such as suggesting multiple uses for a single object.

Convergent thinking, more difficult and time-consuming than divergent thinking, asks the person to find connections between ideas or things, such as discovering the link between three seemingly unrelated words.

While there was no difference between placebo and l-tyrosine for divergent thinking, performance in convergent thinking tests improved after taking l-tyrosine. L-tyrosine is a precursor of dopamine, a hormone released by nerve cells to send signals to other nerve cells. Doctors said tyrosine supplements may be an inexpensive, efficient, and healthy way to promote convergent thinking and support the creative process.

Reference: Psychological Research; September, 2014, Published Online.
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