I watched a fascinating Horizon program last night about how our brains work while we’re being creative and how we can make ourselves more creative.
It seems that a part of our brain, an area just above our right ear (the anterior superior temporal gyrus), is primarily responsible for creative thought. Due mainly to the length and branching of the dendrites stemming from this area being a lot longer and having a far greater reach throughout our brain than the equivalent logical left side.
A burst of gamma rays erupts from this area when we have moments of insight or intuition.
Moments before that, a burst of alpha waves in the occipital lobe (at the back of the brain) responsible for visual processing, cause a kind of ‘brain blink‘. This ‘brain blink’ literally interrupts our visual awareness which allows the moment of insight to bubble up to the conscious level.
So, what are the three ways we can develop this creative process?
#1 It’s been discovered that by simply doing an everyday task in a different way can raise your creativity afterwards by 10-15%. Think of doing the dishes holding the brush in the opposite hand to normal. Or making a sandwich in reverse order. Or getting dressed in a different order.
#2 Taking a break from your work or a task that is frustrating you. Nothing unusual there you say. But, instead of just sitting quietly for a few minutes doing nothing. Studies have shown that creative thinking spikes if we allow ourselves to do a simple task instead. Take 10 minutes to organise some paperwork, or vacuum, or wash the car. Something that you don’t have to think about.
#3 Practice divergent thinking. Take a mundane everyday object and think of as many unusual alternative uses for that object as you can in a two minute timescale. This exercise literally makes your white matter fibre tracks connect different neural networks within your brain, creating more divergent thoughts thereafter.
My question today on my Facebook Fan page asks if you consider yourself to be creative or logical. Please take moment to leave your reply there or below here.
Facebook CLICK HERE
PS: Link to the program (UK only): CLICK HERE