Creative Thought Has a Pattern of its Own, Brain Activity Scans Reveal – According to a recent study, highly creative thinkers have a distinctive combination of brain activity – areas which are associated with wandering thought, and with focused thought are active simultaneously. Usually these processes work against each other in less creative brains. It’s clear just how undervalued creativity is in our modern world – one scientist suggested further research would be necessary to determine whether creativity was a transferable skill (*eyeroll*). Best quote: “One of the barriers to creative thinking is the ease with which common, unoriginal thoughts swamp the mind.” Too true.
Another recent study suggests that suppressing areas of the brain responsible for planning and abstract reasoning results in a greater aptitude for original thinking.
Nick Davis, a psychologist and neuroscientist at Manchester Metropolitan University, who was not involved in the study, welcomed the research. “When the [dorsolateral prefrontal cortex] was ‘cooled down’, the brain seems to have stopped applying old rules, and been more successful at finding new rules – this is the essence of creativity in problem-solving,” he said of the study.
In a way – it seems like creativity requires us to ‘turn off’ what we’ve learned. This makes sense when we consider divergent (“blue sky”) thinking. We generate ideas without considering the barriers, without judgement. So much of the design process is the interplay between divergent and convergent thinking – is the first study essentially saying that creative thinkers are better at doing these simultaneously? Continue reading