Neuroscience Sheds New Light on Creativity


According to an article in Fast Company adapted from the book Iconoclast, advances in neuroscience have shed new light on the key attributes of creativity.  What amazes me is that many of the discoveries re-enforce the value of improv in stimulating the creative process.

Some of the main points on creativity:

  • “The important elements for creative thinkers can be boiled down to this: Experience modifies the connections between neurons so that they become more efficient at processing information.”
  • “In order to think creatively, you must develop new neural pathways and break out of the cycle of experience-dependent categorization.”
  • “The surest way to provoke the imagination, then, is to seek out environments you have no experience with.”

Improv exercises can help you break out of the cycle by challenging you to think differently.  Not only will the exercises themselves be unique and geared towards building a creative mind, but just doing something you aren’t experienced with will provoke the imagination.

If you want to create some of those neural pathways, try out some solo improv exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home or office.  If you want to learn more about the creative process, I highly recommend picking up Iconoclast by Gregory Berns.

Source: Neuroscience Sheds New Light on Creativity by Gregory Berns. FastCompany, September 2008.

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