Despite the broad oversimplifications and misinformation of the 1970’s left - brain right brain thinking craze-- I.e. the left side of the brain is for language and logic, and the right side of the brain is for creativity and imagination-- there are significant differences between the right and left the side of the brain, and these differences matter.
Sandeep Gautam's insight:
which hemispheric differences are real and relevant!
New research has found that the cerebellum, the brain's movement-control center, actually contributes to creativity.
By Katy French Whether it’s electrical stimulation of the brain, taking a walk, or doing something boring, scientists are constantly looking for ways to help us be more creative. Neuroscientists are particularly interested in which areas of the brain contribute to or control creativity, and new research is giving us a little more insight. A new study by Stanford’s School of Medicine and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design has found an unexpected link between creativity and the cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls movement.
This part of the brain has never been recognized as contributing to the creative process, but it turns out that it does play a part. For the study, researchers devised a method to test creativity—without explicitly telling participants that they were supposed to be creative—and monitored brainwave activity to identify what areas of the brain were being activated.
Participants were given two tasks: Visually depict certain words (a la Pictionary), such as “vote” or “salute,” and draw a zigzag line (a task that requires motor skills but not much creativity). While they performed the tasks, participants’ brains were monitored via MRI scans. Once the drawings were completed, participants were asked to rate how difficult the words they were given to draw were (to give researchers a sense of perceived difficulty). After the experiment, researchers analyzed and rated the drawings for creativity according to specific criteria, including accuracy of depiction, number of elements in the drawing, how elaborate or original the drawing was, etc."...
Back in 1958, Ted Schwarzrock was an 8-year-old third grader when he became one of the “Torrance kids,” a group of nearly 400 Minneapolis children who completed a series of creativity tasks newly designed by professor E. Paul Torrance. Schwarzrock still vividly remembers the moment when a psychologist handed him a fire truck and asked, “How could you improve this toy to make it better and more fun to play with?”
The idea that genius and madness are intertwined is an ancient one. But in truth, in this desperately underfunded field, we don’t even have objective tools to diagnose disorders of the mind, let alone back up claims such as this
I am constantly perplexed by the recurring tendency in western history to connect creativity with mental disability and illness. It cannot be denied that a number of well-known creative people, primarily in the arts, have been mentally ill—for example, Vincent Van Gogh, Virginia Woolf, Robert Schumann, Robert Lowell, and Sylvia Plath.
Sandeep Gautam's insight:
a view different from my own; I believe in a strong underlying process similarity in creativity and mental illness.
Interesting to speculate what might be going here; given the greater plastic connectivity amongst synesthetes, I wouldn't have been surprised if this had led to increased creativity; but IQ gains seem, indeed, surprising.
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