The Real Neuroscience of Creativity

This article is from Scientific American, which is one of my all time favorite magazines.  I found this article about the real neuroscience of creativity and read it.  My thoughts immediately became intrigued by this study and its findings, so I decided to share it here with you.

As an artist, as a crafter, as a writer, or as a homemaker–all of these use creativity daily to get things done.  I am interested in learning where this comes from in our brains and ways to make it work harder, so I am posting the article here for you to read and think about.

I like that the author starts with the well-known left-brain vs. right-brain argument.  I have never felt that argument was complete.  Now, in this article, I find that I may have been correct all my life.  Who knew?

Please read this entire article and think about your own experiences with creativity.  Don’t you think this research may be on to something?  I hope you enjoy reading this and if you have questions, please leave me a comment.


The Real Neuroscience of Creativity

So yea, you know how the left brain is really realistic, analytical, practical, organized, and logical, and the right brain is so darn creative, passionate, sensual, tasteful, colorful, vivid, and poetic?


Just no.

Stop it.


Thoughtful cognitive neuroscientists such as Anna AbrahamMark Beeman, Adam Bristol, Kalina Christoff, Andreas Fink, Jeremy GrayAdam GreenRex JungJohn KouniosHikaru TakeuchiOshin VartanianDarya Zabelina and others are on the forefront of investigating what actually happens in the brain during the creative process. And their findings are overturning conventional and overly simplistic notions surrounding the neuroscience of creativity.

The latest findings from the real neuroscience of creativity suggest that the right brain/left brain distinction does not offer us the full picture of how creativity is implemented in the brain.* Creativity does not involve a single brain region or single side of the brain.

Instead, the entire creative process– from preparation to incubation to illumination to verification– consists of many interacting cognitive processes (both conscious and unconscious) and emotions. Depending on the stage of the creative process, and what you’re actually attempting to create, different brain regions are recruited to handle the task.

Importantly, many of these brain regions work as a team to get the job done, and many recruit structures from both the left and right side of the brain. In recent years, evidence has accumulated suggesting that “cognition results from the dynamic interactions of distributed brain areas operating in large-scale networks.”

Depending on the task, different brain networks will be recruited.

….(click here to view the entire article)






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