>I keep coming back to Creativity

Here is a small jeweller’s crucible.

I keep coming back to the creative crucible because that is where we draw from. And when it runs dry we feel, or at least I feel, half alive.

Do creative people think differently from non-creative people?

This article looks into research on the topic. Researchers were studying the brain patterns of people who were asked to solve anagrams. They were looking for that Ah ha! moment.

Before they began the problem, their brain patterns were studied while they waited. Then their brain patterns were moitored while they worked on the anagrams, which could be solved by methodical unraveling of all the combinations, or by an intuitive leap. People were asked to report which method they used, then their brain patterns were studied. Guess what?

‘the two groups displayed strikingly different patterns of brain activity during the resting period at the beginning of the experiment – before they knew they would have to solve problems or even knew what the study was about.’

Not surprising. If someone said to me wait here for fifteen minutes, I would be busy writing stories in my head. Never a dull moment!

The article goes on to say:

‘One difference was that the creative solvers exhibited greater activity in several regions of the right hemisphere. Previous research has suggested that the right hemisphere of the brain plays a special role in solving problems with creative insight, likely due to right-hemisphere involvement in the processing of loose or “remote” associations between the elements of a problem, which is understood to be an important component of creative thought. The current study shows that greater right-hemisphere activity occurs even during a “resting” state in those with a tendency to solve problems by creative insight. This finding suggests that even the spontaneous thought of creative individuals, such as in their daydreams, contains more remote associations.’

Well, yes. If that is the way your mind is wired, that is the way you think all the time. It would be interesting to find out what percentage of the population are wired to think this way. I grew up in a non-creative family. But I can look back at the odd great aunt who was creative. So it could be a recessive gene.

Do you come from a creative family? Are all your friends creative types? What would you think about if you were told to wait somewhere for fifteen minutes?


  1. >I come from a very creative family. the engineers invent things, get patents. The rest draw, sculpt, paint, compose music…Of course the sister with the least creativity has the best paying job. A lone Alpha in the family full of Weird Aunts, poor woman.When waiting, something to do with writing is going on. I may be eyeing the store and planning to put one in a space station or medieval village. Or doing instant replays of overheard conversations, slightly twisted. "…did that feelie last week, let's take Dad's floater and see what's going on in Station Six. I haven't heard from Julie since she married that creep and moved to orbit…"Really boring environments can spawn whole new worlds.

  2. >I come from a mixed-bag family…some couldn't create a dirt pie while there are others who write songs and stories and draw. Some are just in the middle meaning they could if pressed, but it's not something they voluntarily do on their own.While I understand there may be a biological leaning toward creativity, I also believe that a lot of it has to do with how you raise a child. Exposing them to art/lit and encouraging them to pursue it on their own as a child, I believe, gives them a chance to explore and develop the creativity gene.I also believe that creativity has something to do with intelligence. You don't generally see dumb artists. There are exceptions, of course, but not on the whole. That's not to say that non-creative people aren't intelligent, but most truly creative people I've known have been intelligent. It might have something to do with extra resources in the brain being allowed to come out and play.Linda

  3. >I would definitely say I am the odd one out in my family. As the youngest of eleven children, I guess this just proves if you keep rolling the dice eventually you will get a strange result!

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