Tuesday, August 31, 2010
I keep coming back to Creativity
Here is a small jeweller's crucible.
I keep coming back to the creative crucible because that is where we draw from. And when it runs dry we feel, or at least I feel, half alive.
Do creative people think differently from non-creative people?
This article looks into research on the topic. Researchers were studying the brain patterns of people who were asked to solve anagrams. They were looking for that Ah ha! moment.
Before they began the problem, their brain patterns were studied while they waited. Then their brain patterns were moitored while they worked on the anagrams, which could be solved by methodical unraveling of all the combinations, or by an intuitive leap. People were asked to report which method they used, then their brain patterns were studied. Guess what?
'the two groups displayed strikingly different patterns of brain activity during the resting period at the beginning of the experiment – before they knew they would have to solve problems or even knew what the study was about.'
Not surprising. If someone said to me wait here for fifteen minutes, I would be busy writing stories in my head. Never a dull moment!
The article goes on to say:
'One difference was that the creative solvers exhibited greater activity in several regions of the right hemisphere. Previous research has suggested that the right hemisphere of the brain plays a special role in solving problems with creative insight, likely due to right-hemisphere involvement in the processing of loose or “remote” associations between the elements of a problem, which is understood to be an important component of creative thought. The current study shows that greater right-hemisphere activity occurs even during a “resting” state in those with a tendency to solve problems by creative insight. This finding suggests that even the spontaneous thought of creative individuals, such as in their daydreams, contains more remote associations.'
Well, yes. If that is the way your mind is wired, that is the way you think all the time. It would be interesting to find out what percentage of the population are wired to think this way. I grew up in a non-creative family. But I can look back at the odd great aunt who was creative. So it could be a recessive gene.
Do you come from a creative family? Are all your friends creative types? What would you think about if you were told to wait somewhere for fifteen minutes?