This is Your Brain on Creativity

I was reading the great blog Noise Between Stations this morning and came across a link to what looks like an interesting article in Scientific American Mind. After reading Alan Deutschman’s May cover story, “Change or Die,” I’m intrigued more and more by how our brains affect our ability to change–or create. The article features research by neurologist Bruce Miller, who studied how dementia patients who suffered damage to left brain functions often saw a surge of creativity. The left brain’s convergent thinking constrains the right brain’s divergent thinking. While the article requires a fee to read, Noise Between Stations has provided us with a few tips from the Scientific American story for staying more creative:

  • Wonderment: Try to retain a spirit of discovery, a childlike curiousity about the world. And question understandings that others consider obvious
  • Motivation: As soon as a spark of interest arises in something, follow it
  • Intellectual courage: Strive to think outside accepted principles and habitual perspectives such as “We’ve always done it that way.”
  • Relaxation: Take the time to day dream and ponder, because that is often when the best ideas arise. Look for ways to relax and consciously put the ideas into practice.