Archives for Neuroscience

Consciousness

Leaky Attention and Being More Creative

"Poor sensory gating, the ability to filter unnecessary stimuli from the brain, correlated with a higher number of lifetime creative achievements."
Being a highly sensitive person may include letting an unusually high level of information in to our nervous systems, which can lead to feeling overwhelmed by emotional and sensory input at times, but may also help explain why sensitive people are often artists and creators.

Continue Reading

Consciousness

Chaos and Creative Expression

"The very impulse to write, I think, springs from an inner chaos crying for order, for meaning, and that meaning must be discovered in the process of writing or the work lies dead as it is finished." Arthur Miller

Creative people and writers about the creative process often say creative work is a way to release or make use of inner chaos; what is this turmoil?

Psychologist Stephen Diamond declares in his book that our impulse to be creative "can be understood to some degree as the subjective struggle to give form, structure and constructive expression to inner and outer chaos and conflict."

Continue Reading

Creative Thinking

Idleness and Being Creative


"I don't think necessity is the mother of invention. Invention, in my opinion, arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness - to save oneself trouble."
Agatha Christie [via brainyquote.com]
We may feel pressured to stay busy and keep producing, but is there some value for developing creativity in being, if not lazy, at least idle for a time?

Continue Reading

Consciousness

Can People With ADHD Be More Creative?

A number of psychologists note that many personality traits connected with ADD and ADHD are also associated with highly creative people.

This is a topic I have addressed in previous Creative Mind posts, but here are some new perspectives, inspired by a documentary by Lisa Ling who was diagnosed with ADD during the course of her research for the project.

She commented, “As a journalist, when I’m immersed in a story, then I feel like I can laser-focus. But if I’m not working, my mind goes in every direction but where it’s supposed to go. I’ve been like that since I was a kid.”

Continue Reading

Consciousness

Are Brains of Artists Different?

With more and more brain imaging studies in the media, relating to different areas of human behavior including being creative, it is worth noting there are critiques of the validity and meaning of imaging technology.

The image is from an article whose authors comment, "The brain is said to be the final scientific frontier, and rightly so in our view.

"Yet, in many quarters, brain-based explanations appear to be granted a kind of inherent superiority over all other ways of accounting for human behaviour.

“We call this assumption ‘neurocentrism’ – the view that human experience and behaviour can be best explained from the predominant or even exclusive perspective of the brain.”

Continue Reading

Consciousness

Asperger’s and Creativity Part 3

[Continued from Asperger's and Creativity Part 2]

Quirks and creativity

Scott Barry Kaufman, a cognitive psychologist at NYU interested in intelligence and creativity development, commented in a post of his:
"I think a lot of things that we call 'quirks', or maybe even some things we call 'disabilities', can turn out to be some of the determinants of high levels of creativity that we never could plan ahead of time."
From Conversations on Creativity with Darold Treffert, Part I: Defining Autism, Savantism, and Genius.

[Photo from his video "Creativity" - see a clip in my post Don’t You Have To Be “Gifted and Talented” To Be Creative?]

In his book Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined, Kaufman writes about many aspects of the syndrome, and notes that people with Asperger’s tend to do "exceptionally well on perceptual tests of fluid reasoning, such as the Raven’s progressive matrices test."

Continue Reading

Consciousness

Asperger’s and Creativity Part 2

[Continued from Asperger's and Creativity Part 1]

A number of movies and TV shows have characters who show characteristics associated with autism - with varying degrees of accuracy, according to critics - including “Touch," “Parenthood," physicist Sheldon Cooper on "The Big Bang Theory" and forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan on "Bones."

The photo is actor Thomas Horn in the powerful movie "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" as Oskar, a "nine-year-old amateur inventor, Francophile, and pacifist who searches New York City for the lock that matches a mysterious key left behind by his father, who died in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001" [imdb.com].

The photo is from the article "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Familiar" by Beth Arky, (Child Mind Institute), who noted "Autism advocates embrace the movie, and slam critics who disparage the hero."

Continue Reading

Consciousness

Asperger’s and Creativity

Can Asperger's Syndrome or related conditions include neurological differences and qualities that enhance creativity?

A page on the Asperger's Association of New England site - What is Asperger Syndrome? - declares "There is strong evidence that such superstars as Vincent Van Gogh, Emily Dickinson, Albert Einstein, code-breaker Alan Turing, and musician Glen Gould, among many others, all had Asperger Syndrome. Today, too, there are adults with AS who are successful as professors, lawyers, physicians, artists, authors, and educators."

The Asperger's Syndrome page on webmd.com says "Many children with Asperger's syndrome are exceptionally talented or skilled in a particular area, such as music or math."

Continue Reading

Creative Thinking

The Dyslexic and Creative Mind – Part 3

[Conclusion - also see Part 1 and Part 2]

Neuroscience research

In his book: "Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined," cognitive psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman refers to a study by Catya von Karolyi, Ellen Winner, Wendy Gray, and Gordon Sherman: "Dyslexia linked to talent: Global visual-spatial ability" in the journal Brain and Language.

The researchers "argue that dyslexic individuals may excel at visual-spatial tasks that rely on the right hemisphere, because the right hemisphere tends to process information holistically."

They evaluated people viewing "impossible figures": objects that "seem to be 3-D but could not actually exist in 3-D space. Examples can be found in M. C. Escher’s paintings, such as his famous impossible staircase painting, Ascending and Descending.

Continue Reading