Anna Abraham wrote a wonderful resource that covers some of the most hot button topics in the field [of the neuroscience of creativity]. She was gracious enough to do a Q & A with me.
SBK: What is creativity?
[AA:] … Most experts agree that two elements are central to creativity. First and foremost, it reflects our capacity to generate ideas that are original, unusual or novel in some way. The second element is that these ideas also need to be satisfying, appropriate or suited to the context in question.
SBK: What are some unique problems faced in the neuroscientist study of creativity that aren’t faced in other complex aspects of human psychological function that lend themselves more easily to objective scientific inquiry?
AA: … The most significant problem is that one cannot prompt creativity. For many rather complex functions, you can quite simply cue a response with an appropriate question.
SBK: What happens in our brains when we operate in a creative mode vs. an uncreative mode?
[AA:] The creative mode is called for in contexts that are unclear, vague and open-ended. …the creative mode involves turning away from the path of least resistance and venturing into the briars so to speak in an effort to forge a new path through the grey zone of the unexpected, the vague, the misleading, or the unknown.
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