November 9, 2012


Your brain is a novelty-seeking machine. It contains mechanisms that promote exploring the environment, learning new information, and synthesizing that new material into original ideas. There is no doubt about it: your brain is built for creativity.

Of course, that’s not all your brain is built for. Besides being a factory of creative ideas, your brain is charged with other tasks, such as keeping you alive. Your brain must monitor both the external environment (the world) and the internal environment (your body) for signs of threat and then respond appropriately when threat is detected. That involves interpreting the intentions of other people, recalling scenarios from your past to see if something that’s happening out there right now might follow a pattern that didn’t work out so well for you before, and figuring out what excuse you’re going to give your spouse this time for not getting the trash out soon enough for the weekly pickup. (However, note that this last aspect of insuring your survival—like so many others—also requires creativity.)

So when it’s not preoccupied with your survival, your brain can devote more of its resources to being creative. The way the brain is connected to itself is crucial to creativity. We’ve known for decades that some of the most creative ideas come from making associations between remote or seemingly disconnected ideas or concepts. New research is indicating that connections between disparate areas of the brain are also associated with measures of creative thinking. Indeed, creativity is all about making associations.

[Source: Your Creative Brain Seven Steps to Maximize Imagination, Productivity, and Innovation in Your Life]

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