THE BRAIN’S VITAL STATISTICS
Number of neurons
About 100 billion neurons
Number of synapses
About 100 trillion
HOW DO WE ACQUIRE CREATIVITY?
Certain parts of the brain govern specific functions
THE BRAIN IS SHAPED BY ENVIRONMENT
Enriched enviornment Deprived environment
= Challenge, = Avoidance,
autonomy, complexity, a connection dependence, monotony, isolation,
between reward and effort. low expectations.
Credit: NYU Langone Medical Center
Creativity : The work and lives of 91
1. Energy & drive yet sleeps a lot
2. Smart yet naïve
3. Playful yet disciplined
4. Imaginative yet rooted in reality
5. Introverted yet extraverted
6. Shy yet assertive
7. Male yet female - tolerance of ambiguity
8. Rebellious yet conservative
9. Willingness to take risks
10.Passionate yet objective
11.Aware of the importance of luck
12.Not interested in past accomplishments
13.A sensitivity to pain & loss
CREATIVITY INVOLVES MAKING DECISIONS
The orbitofrontal cortex (arrow) responds to mistakes that change behaviour.
The feeling that things have turned out differently than expected.
The feeling that a decision needs to be made.
(UPSIDE DOWN VIEW)
This brain area matures later in humans compared with other brain areas.
Thus education and mentoring is essential for young innovators.
WHY DOES THE BRAIN SEEK CREATIVITY?
Creativity in a crisis – the hallmark of the human condition
CAN EXERCISE ENHANCE CREATIVITY?
Areas affected in AD
Areas affected by normal aging
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A 104(13):5638-43 (2007). http://www.sfn.org/index.aspx?pagename=publications_rd_alzheimers
Exercise increases ‘neurogenesis’ (growth Warmer colours indicate higher levels of
of neurons) in the hippocampus - a region nerve growth factor in the hippocampus
important for memory and implicated in of [A] exercising animals compared to
cognitive aging. [B] sedentary animals - blue indicates
the lowest level.
CREATIVITY & MENTAL
Man’s search for meaning
The outstanding feature of human beings
is free will.
‘He who has a why to live can bear with
almost any how.’ Nietzsche.’
Logotherapy = the will to meaning (purpose)
The three ways to meaning
1. Creating a work, doing a deed.
2. Experiencing something or encountering
3. Our approach to suffering.
"I am neither especially clever nor especially gifted. I am only
very, very curious."