Friday, May 29, 2015

Sci Am says don't overthink creative work

From their website:
The results were surprising: the prefrontal cortex, traditionally associated with thinking, was most active for the drawings the participants ranked as most difficult; the cerebellum was most active for the drawings the participants scored highest on for creativity. Essentially, the less the participants thought about what they were drawing, the more creative their drawings were. Manish Saggar, a psychiatrist at Stanford and the study’s lead author, summarized the findings: “The more you think about it, the more you mess it up.”
The study did have a number of limitations, however. First, there is little consensus in the scientific community about how to define creativity. Consequently, to objectively measure it researchers must develop a working definition. Second, because the cerebellum is associated with motion “the creativity of the drawings could have been correlated to the complexity of the physical movements required to draw them,” says John Kounios, a cognitive neuroscientist at Drexel University not involved in the study.

I don't know.  I would suggest that drawing in an unfamiliar environment, while lieing down would cause unusual brain patterns.  I also think the creativity comes in deciding what to draw, then movement and motor neurons are used to actually do the drawing.  In my limited time as a wood carver, I have learned that I can clearly imagine what I want.  Then comes the work of precise cutting and gouging.

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