What is This Creativity Thing?

While the typical summer reading list overflows with light-hearted fiction recommendations (for which I am grateful and often keep reading well into the winter), we at COMPAS have been busy catching up on another kind of reading: research.

Research on questions like, What is creativity? And, Where does it come from? It might not be traditional beach reading, but it’s sure to get you thinking in new and creative ways. So grab your favorite beverage, pop a tiny umbrella into your glass, and pick a webpage or two to enjoy.

>> Neuroscience+Art is a forum that has captured discussions between neuroscientists and artists as they work towards a better understanding of creativity. As the June 13, 2015 blog entry explains,

“[our inner reserves of creativity] are responsible not just for operas, sculptures, and novels, but for bridges, vaccines, and cell phones as well. With so much of our internal lives influenced by the processes of creativity and so much of our external lives touched by the products of it, it is surprising how little is known about creativity's biological underpinnings. What better way to encourage progress in this field than by getting together cognitive neuroscientists interested in creativity with the people who trade most directly in it, artists?” 

>> The Neuroscience of Art was a seminar that explored what is known about the sources of creativity and innovation. (Spoiler alert, not much – yet.) This seminar-recap highlights exchanges throughout the session and challenges the reader to think as a scientist and an artist (which aren’t necessarily so far apart).

>> What makes up the essence of creativity is the topic of this presentation by the NEA Interagency Task Force on Arts & Human Development.  You’ll need ear buds if your fellow summer readers don’t want to listen to a webinar, but once you get past the introduction, it gets interesting.

While there is a lot for us to learn about creativity, one conclusion these scientists have drawn is that,

“Creative behavioral patterns are likely to be a critical component for developing the neurological capacity for innovation.”

Our take away as we refill our lemonade – making it a habit to be involved in creative endeavors (let’s just say, making art) develops our abilities to innovate.

Tell us what you think in the comments below!

“Between the writer and the reader, there is a continuum of awareness, a bridge between worlds, and something of the infinite.”
- Aryeh Stollman, Writer & Assistant Clinical Professor Radiology, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, NY, talking during the Neuroscience of Art seminar about how the written word creates a bridge between our internal (neurologic) and external worlds.