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Why are we insightful? What is going on in the brain when we have a flash of insight?
Horizon on the Brain looks at:
- Divergent thinking
- Unusual and unexpected experiences
- Schema violation
Based on this I’m going to take up something mindless to do between the gaps – doing the dishes surely counts?
Reading does not?
Watching TV does not?
- Walking the dog
- Falling asleep in the bath
- Pruning bushes
- Mow the lawn
When and where do people have moments of creativity?
The neuroscience of electromangentic and fMRI scans.
Human advancement is dependent on creativity.
You will hear from:
- Prof Jonathan Schooler
- Dr Mark Beeman
- Dr Charles Limb
- Dr Simone Ritter
- Dr Jon Kounios
- Dr Rex Young
You will hear about:
- The neural correlate of creativity
- The anterior superior antilial giros
- Look for unexpected experiences Scehema violation
- Breaking cognitive pedants
Breaking any routine – switching steps Change your routines Well trodden neural pathways are abandoned.
- Mind wandering helps the creative process Engaging in a non–demaning task
- Don’t just do nothing, do something undemanding instead …
If you’re stumped, take a break e.g. walk, shower, gardening … walk the dog.
- Down regulate your frontal lobes.
- Some people are hypofrontal. Losing your inhibitions when you improvise.
- Releasing your mental handcuffs.
- Science to explain.
Towards a theory of creativity.
Fig 1. Pots, Writing, Music and on being a Smarty Pants
Listen to it for yourself. What intrigued me where his thoughts on the creative process.
On describing his pots
“Rigorous but humane – I’d like that on my gravestone if possible”.
“The rest of the world falls away”.
“The challenge is always the same, what are you going to do next?”
Ella FitzGerald sings : “What’s the next chorus to this song now. It’s the one – I don’t know. It’s a swing song, that’s the tune … Something about Louis Miller and something about cash … tell me … ”
“This is music as it should be. This is making it up as you go along. This matters to me because this is what the experience of making things is like. That’s improvisation. That’s when when you think you’ve got it made before you start. And then … it all goes … it doesn’t go wrong – it goes different. And then you have to … then you’re alive. That’s the moment of absolute aliveness. Which is what music is about … and about what I do is about”.
A course on creativity could be constructed from interviews and music featured on Desert Island Discs. Like any frustrated creative I listen to this and find myself turning to a short story or a sheet of cartridge paper.
(A netsuke of the kind Edmund de Waal shows Kirsty Young, a signed piece from the early 18th century, is likely to be worth £10,000 to £12,000.).
I prefer invention over recreation.
Others I’ve caught on Desert Island Discs include
Another potter, form whom ‘creativity is mistakes’.
- Mistakes, and Recovering with Style. (indirectroutes.net)
- Edmund de Waal on Cy Twombly (telegraph.co.uk)
- Desert Island Discs by Sean Magee: review (telegraph.co.uk)
- Diversity and tolerance – a celebration of humanity (mymindbursts.com)