Monday, July 28, 2014

Secrets of the Creative Brain

During the Friday commute home, I caught parts of this a story about creativity on NPR. Intrigued, I tracked down the article online and read through it on Saturday. It's quite interesting and definitely worth a read.

The piece is Secrets of the Creative Brain, A leading neuroscientist who has spent decades studying creativity shares her research on where genius comes from, whether it is dependent on high IQ -- and why it is so often accompanied by mental illness, by Nancy Andreasen. It's not a short read, but it is a pretty easy read nonetheless. And if you're into creativity -- understanding it, leveraging it, or just being around it -- I think it's a helpful read as well.

It reminded me a lot of Juice: The Creative Fuel That Drives World-Class Inventors, a book that I really enjoyed and would recommend. In her study, Andreasen dives into the associative part of the brain and it's relation to creativity. This harmonizes well with many of the ideas presented by Evan Schwartz in Juice. 

At the same time, one aspect of Andreasen's piece that I found amusing from the creative perspective is the idea that, within the mind of the creative person, the unusual (creative) associations seem so obvious that they tend to take them for granted. Put a different way, while some may see an unusual or creative idea, that creative person probably considers the association as normal. This can create a disconnect between a creative person and an audience that "just doesn't get it". And that can be a good thing to keep in mind when you're dealing with creatives -- or as a creative person looking out.

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