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Creativity#3: The Creative Process
Tathagat Varma
Knowledgepreneur
http://thoughtleadership.in
2% body weight, but needs 25% O2 and 20% Calories!
Our Brain!
cc:	_DJ_	-	h)ps://www.flickr.com/photos/40869837@N03
External Parts of Brain
What is your creative process?
  Think of things that you do when you have to come up
with something creative
  What all do you do, in what order…?
  Time: 5 min
Left Brain – Right Brain
  In 60s, some of the research work led to this thinking
  Left brain: Logical, Scientific, etc.
  Right brain: Emotional, Creative, etc.
Left Brain – Right Brain
Left Brain-Right Brain Myth!
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/the-real-neuroscience-of-creativity/
The Reality!
  Creativity doesn’t involve a single brain region or single
side of brain!
  Entire creative process consists of many interacting
cognitive processes and emotions
  Depending on the stage of of the creative process, and
what you’re trying to create, different brain regions are
used, that work as a team to get the job done
Different tasks…
  When you mentally rotate a physical image in your
mind, you use Dorsal Attention / Visuospatial
Network
  If the task involves language, Broca’s area and
Wernicke’s area are more likely to be recruited
  For creative cognition, three networks are critical
  Executive Attention Network
  Imagination Network
  Salience Network
Brain and Creative Thinking
  Attention Control Network
  Helps us focus
  Imagination Network
  Remember the past, and
  Imagine the future
  Construct mental images
Attentional Flexibility Network
  Monitoring things around us and inside brains, and
  Switching between earlier two
Executive Attention Network
  Recruited when a task requires focus like a laser, like
when you are concentrating on a complex problem, etc.
which requires heavy usage of working memory
  Involves efficient and reliable communication between
lateral (outer) regions of the prefrontal cortex and areas
towards the back (posterior) of the Parietal lobe
  Probably used more heavily in the second phase of
creativity – focusing on, checking and sharpening the
final product, rather than the initial freeform creative
process.
Imagination Network
  According to Randy Buckner and colleagues, the Default
Network (referred to here as the Imagination Network) is
involved in "constructing dynamic mental simulations based
on personal past experiences such as used during
remembering, thinking about the future, and generally
when imagining alternative perspectives and scenarios to the
present."
  The Imagination Network is also involved in
social cognition. For instance, when we are imagining what
someone else is thinking, this brain network is active.
  Involves areas deep inside the prefrontal cortex and temporal
lobe (medial regions), along with communication with
various outer and inner regions of the parietal cortex.
Salience Network
  The Salience Network constantly monitors both
external events and the internal stream of
consciousness and flexibly passes the baton to whatever
information is most salient to solving the task at hand.
  This network consists of the dorsal anterior cingulate
cortices [dACC] and anterior insular [AI] and is
important for dynamic switching between networks.
Attention Control Network
and Imagination Network
Neuroscience of Creative
Cognition
  In a recent large review, Rex Jung and colleagues provide a
"first approximation" regarding how creative cognition might
map on to the human brain. Their review suggests that
when you want to loosen your associations, allow your mind
to roam free, imagine new possibilities, and silence the inner
critic, it's good to reduce activation of the Executive
Attention Network (a bit, but not completely) and increase
activation of the Imagination and Salience Networks.
Indeed, recent research on jazz musicians and rappers
engaging in creative improvisation suggests that's precisely
what is happening in the brain while in a flow state.
  However, sometimes it's important to bring the Executive
Attention Network back online, and critically evaluate and
implement your creative ideas.
Latent Inhibition
  We get literally billions of inputs. Brain needs to filter out
irrelevant information. This ability is known as Latent
Inhibition
  Without this subconscious inability to pick and choose
what’s relevant to us at that point, we would have to deal
with too much of noise!
  a study using high-IQ individuals found that those with
lower latent inhibition scores were more likely to be creative.
  The authors wonder whether an innate propensity to be
open to experience might play a role in creativity. Simply
put, people who are less likely to classify an object or a
sound as "irrelevant" are at an advantage when it comes to
producing creative, original content.
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/306611.php?page=2
Processes behind Creativity
  1. Attention “Both for focusing in deep work and sustaining oneself through
thick and thin to finish the creative work, and for flexibly searching in
memory and one’s environment for crucial clues to the puzzle.”
  2. Analogy/metaphorical thinking “For connecting knowledge bits that
might seem unrelated.”
  3. Network organization of memory “With spreading activation and
susceptibility of these activation patterns to be altered by external
input, e.g., Priming can overcome Functional fixedness.”
  4. Forgetting “Natural tendency of memories to decay over time (this might
be why Incubation helps when you are stuck on a problem, forgetting allows
for unproductive thought patterns to decay and stop hogging memory space)”
  5. Imagination “Capacity to construct multiple construals of stimuli, and to
flexibly combine bits of memory into novel representations”
http://creativesomething.net/post/57423335221/what-neuroscience-teaches-us-about-creativity
Creative Process?
 1926: The Art of Thought –
Graham Wallace
 1940: A Technique for Producing
Ideas: the simple five-step
formula anyone can use to be
more creative in business and in
life! – James Webb Young
Wallace
  Extended ideas of the great Physicist Helmholtz’s three
stages of formation of new thought by adding the stage
4 of verification
  Refers to work of Henri Pioncare in his book Science
and Method
  Stage 1: Preparation
  Stage 2: Incubation
  Stage 3: Illumination
  Stage 4: Verification
Stage 1: Preparation
  Investigate the problem…in all directions
  Hard, conscious, systematic, and fruitless analysis of the
problem
Stage 2: Incubation
  The Incubation stage covers two different things, of
which
  the first is the negative fact that during Incubation we
do not voluntarily or consciously think on the particular
problem, and
  the second is the positive fact that a series of
unconscious and involuntary mental events may take
place during the event.
  No thinking done, but unconscious mental exploration
done (Pioncare)
Stage 3: Illumination
  “…the thinker is preparing himself for the solution of a single
problem, he will often (particularly if he is working on the very
complex material of the social sciences) have several kindred
problems in his mind, on all of which the voluntary work of
preparation has been, or is being done, and for any of which, at
the illumination stage, a solution may present itself.”
  Final idea came “with the same characteristics of conciseness,
suddenness, and immediate certainty”
  I shall now discuss the much more difficult question of the degree
to which our will can influence the less controllable stage which I
have called Illumination. Helmholtz and Pioncare both speak of
the appearance of a new idea as instantaneous and unexpected. If
we do define the illumination stage as to restrict it to this
instantaneous “flash”, it is obvious that we cannot influence it by
a direct effort of will; because we can only bring our will bear
upon psychological events which lasts for an appreciable time.
Stage 4: Verification
  Validity of the idea is tested, and idea itself was reduced
to exact form
  “It never happens that unconscious work supplies
readymade the result of a lengthy calculation in which
we have only to apply fixed rules
Young
“An idea, I thought, has some of that mysterious quality
which romance lends to tales of the sudden appearance of
islands in the South Seas.
There, according to ancient mariners, in spots where the
charts showed only blue-deep sea – there would suddenly
appear a lovely atoll above the surface of the waters. The air
of magic hung about it.
And so it is, I thought, with ideas. They appear just as
suddenly above the surface of the mind; and with that
same air of magic and unaccountability.”
Young
But the scientist knows that the South Sea atoll is the work of
countless, unseen coral builders, working below the surface of
the sea.
And so I asked myself: “Is an idea,
too, like this? Is it only, the final result
of a long series of unseen idea-
building processes which go on
beneath the surface of the conscious
mind?
Young
This has brought me to the conclusion that the
production of ideas is as definite process as the
production of Fords; that the production of
ideas, too, runs on an assembly line; that in
this production the mind follows an operative
technique which can be learned and controlled;
and that its effective use is just as much a
matter of practice in the technique as is the
effective use of any tool.
Young
In learning any art, the important things to
learn are, first, Principles; and second, Method.
This is true for the art of producing ideas.
So with the art of producing ideas. What is
most valuable know is not where to look for a
particular idea, but how to train the mind in
the method by which the ideas are produced;
and how to grasp the principles which are source
of all ideas.
Young
  Principles
  An idea is nothing more nor less than a new combination
of old elements.
  The capacity to bring old elements into new
combinations, depends largely on the ability to see
relationships.
  Consequently, the habit of mind which leads to a
search for relationships between facts becomes of the
highest importance in the production of ideas.
Process
1.  Gather raw materials
1.  Two kinds: specific and general
2.  In advertising, an idea result from a new combination of specific knowledge about the
products and people, and with general knowledge about life and events.
2.  Masticating the raw materials
1.  Bring facts together and see how they fit
2.  Mental digestive process
3.  Take a break!
1.  Put the problem away, sleep over it, do something else…
2.  Let your unconscious kind work on it
4.  Idea emerges out of nowhere!
1.  Just when or where you least expect it
5.  Shaping and polishing into a practical idea
1.  Share it with the world, submit to criticism
2.  Work like inventor to go through with applying this adapting path of the process.
Recap
  We are just beginning to understand the neuroscience
of creativity, and it does NOT involve left brain-right
brain!
  Various networks in the brain get triggered in the
creative process, quite unconsciously
  However, a creative process can help us streamline how
our brain approaches creative problem solving
  In the next class, we we do some creative exercises and
play some creative games J
References
http://brainpickings.org/2013/09/06/what-is-creativity/
http://osho.com/highlights-of-oshos-world/what-is-creativity
http://www.ted.com/topics/creativity
http://hbr.org/topic/creativity
http://www.coursera.org/learn/creativity-innovation
http://www.coursera.org/learn/ignite-creativity
http://www.entrepreneur.com/topic/creativity
http://www.coursera.org/learn/creative-problem-solving
http://www.quora.com/The-Arts-What-standards-are-used-to-determine-if-something-is-creative-or-not-and-what-triggers-
inspiration
  The Sources of Creativity and Innovation, http://www.fpspi.org/pdf/innovcreativity.pdf
  10 Surprising Facts about how Our Brains Work, https://blog.bufferapp.com/10-surprising-facts-about-how-our-brain-
works
References
  For a more creative brain, follow these 5 steps,
http://jamesclear.com/five-step-creative-process
  It’s time to bury the idea of the Lone Genius Innovator,
https://hbr.org/2016/04/its-time-to-bury-the-idea-of-the-lone-genius-innovator
  The Science of Great Ideas – How to Train your Creative Brain,
https://www.fastcompany.com/3022519/work-smart/the-science-of-great-ideas-how-to-
train-your-creative-brains
  How much sleep do you really need,
http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1812420,00.html
  Do creative people have more bad ideas than average?,
https://www.quora.com/Do-creative-people-have-more-bad-ideas-than-average
https://www.quora.com/Why-are-some-people-more-creative-than-others
https://www.fastcodesign.com/3062292/evidence/brainstorming-is-dumb
http://creativesomething.net/post/104671882899/john-cleese-nobody-has-any-idea-at-
first
Books
  Orbiting the Giant Hairball – A Corporate Fool’s
Guide to Surviving with Grace, Gordon MacKenzie
  A Whack on the Side of the Head – How You Can be
More Creative, Roger Von Oech
  The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  A Technique for Producing Ideas: the simple five-step
formula anyone can use to be more creative in business
& in life!, James Webb Young

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Lecture 3 - The Creative Process

  • 1. Creativity#3: The Creative Process Tathagat Varma Knowledgepreneur http://thoughtleadership.in
  • 2. 2% body weight, but needs 25% O2 and 20% Calories! Our Brain! cc: _DJ_ - h)ps://www.flickr.com/photos/40869837@N03
  • 4. What is your creative process?   Think of things that you do when you have to come up with something creative   What all do you do, in what order…?   Time: 5 min
  • 5. Left Brain – Right Brain   In 60s, some of the research work led to this thinking   Left brain: Logical, Scientific, etc.   Right brain: Emotional, Creative, etc.
  • 6. Left Brain – Right Brain
  • 7. Left Brain-Right Brain Myth! http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/the-real-neuroscience-of-creativity/
  • 8. The Reality!   Creativity doesn’t involve a single brain region or single side of brain!   Entire creative process consists of many interacting cognitive processes and emotions   Depending on the stage of of the creative process, and what you’re trying to create, different brain regions are used, that work as a team to get the job done
  • 9. Different tasks…   When you mentally rotate a physical image in your mind, you use Dorsal Attention / Visuospatial Network   If the task involves language, Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area are more likely to be recruited   For creative cognition, three networks are critical   Executive Attention Network   Imagination Network   Salience Network
  • 10. Brain and Creative Thinking   Attention Control Network   Helps us focus   Imagination Network   Remember the past, and   Imagine the future   Construct mental images Attentional Flexibility Network   Monitoring things around us and inside brains, and   Switching between earlier two
  • 11. Executive Attention Network   Recruited when a task requires focus like a laser, like when you are concentrating on a complex problem, etc. which requires heavy usage of working memory   Involves efficient and reliable communication between lateral (outer) regions of the prefrontal cortex and areas towards the back (posterior) of the Parietal lobe   Probably used more heavily in the second phase of creativity – focusing on, checking and sharpening the final product, rather than the initial freeform creative process.
  • 12. Imagination Network   According to Randy Buckner and colleagues, the Default Network (referred to here as the Imagination Network) is involved in "constructing dynamic mental simulations based on personal past experiences such as used during remembering, thinking about the future, and generally when imagining alternative perspectives and scenarios to the present."   The Imagination Network is also involved in social cognition. For instance, when we are imagining what someone else is thinking, this brain network is active.   Involves areas deep inside the prefrontal cortex and temporal lobe (medial regions), along with communication with various outer and inner regions of the parietal cortex.
  • 13. Salience Network   The Salience Network constantly monitors both external events and the internal stream of consciousness and flexibly passes the baton to whatever information is most salient to solving the task at hand.   This network consists of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortices [dACC] and anterior insular [AI] and is important for dynamic switching between networks.
  • 14. Attention Control Network and Imagination Network
  • 15. Neuroscience of Creative Cognition   In a recent large review, Rex Jung and colleagues provide a "first approximation" regarding how creative cognition might map on to the human brain. Their review suggests that when you want to loosen your associations, allow your mind to roam free, imagine new possibilities, and silence the inner critic, it's good to reduce activation of the Executive Attention Network (a bit, but not completely) and increase activation of the Imagination and Salience Networks. Indeed, recent research on jazz musicians and rappers engaging in creative improvisation suggests that's precisely what is happening in the brain while in a flow state.   However, sometimes it's important to bring the Executive Attention Network back online, and critically evaluate and implement your creative ideas.
  • 16. Latent Inhibition   We get literally billions of inputs. Brain needs to filter out irrelevant information. This ability is known as Latent Inhibition   Without this subconscious inability to pick and choose what’s relevant to us at that point, we would have to deal with too much of noise!   a study using high-IQ individuals found that those with lower latent inhibition scores were more likely to be creative.   The authors wonder whether an innate propensity to be open to experience might play a role in creativity. Simply put, people who are less likely to classify an object or a sound as "irrelevant" are at an advantage when it comes to producing creative, original content. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/306611.php?page=2
  • 17. Processes behind Creativity   1. Attention “Both for focusing in deep work and sustaining oneself through thick and thin to finish the creative work, and for flexibly searching in memory and one’s environment for crucial clues to the puzzle.”   2. Analogy/metaphorical thinking “For connecting knowledge bits that might seem unrelated.”   3. Network organization of memory “With spreading activation and susceptibility of these activation patterns to be altered by external input, e.g., Priming can overcome Functional fixedness.”   4. Forgetting “Natural tendency of memories to decay over time (this might be why Incubation helps when you are stuck on a problem, forgetting allows for unproductive thought patterns to decay and stop hogging memory space)”   5. Imagination “Capacity to construct multiple construals of stimuli, and to flexibly combine bits of memory into novel representations” http://creativesomething.net/post/57423335221/what-neuroscience-teaches-us-about-creativity
  • 18. Creative Process?  1926: The Art of Thought – Graham Wallace  1940: A Technique for Producing Ideas: the simple five-step formula anyone can use to be more creative in business and in life! – James Webb Young
  • 19. Wallace   Extended ideas of the great Physicist Helmholtz’s three stages of formation of new thought by adding the stage 4 of verification   Refers to work of Henri Pioncare in his book Science and Method   Stage 1: Preparation   Stage 2: Incubation   Stage 3: Illumination   Stage 4: Verification
  • 20. Stage 1: Preparation   Investigate the problem…in all directions   Hard, conscious, systematic, and fruitless analysis of the problem
  • 21. Stage 2: Incubation   The Incubation stage covers two different things, of which   the first is the negative fact that during Incubation we do not voluntarily or consciously think on the particular problem, and   the second is the positive fact that a series of unconscious and involuntary mental events may take place during the event.   No thinking done, but unconscious mental exploration done (Pioncare)
  • 22. Stage 3: Illumination   “…the thinker is preparing himself for the solution of a single problem, he will often (particularly if he is working on the very complex material of the social sciences) have several kindred problems in his mind, on all of which the voluntary work of preparation has been, or is being done, and for any of which, at the illumination stage, a solution may present itself.”   Final idea came “with the same characteristics of conciseness, suddenness, and immediate certainty”   I shall now discuss the much more difficult question of the degree to which our will can influence the less controllable stage which I have called Illumination. Helmholtz and Pioncare both speak of the appearance of a new idea as instantaneous and unexpected. If we do define the illumination stage as to restrict it to this instantaneous “flash”, it is obvious that we cannot influence it by a direct effort of will; because we can only bring our will bear upon psychological events which lasts for an appreciable time.
  • 23. Stage 4: Verification   Validity of the idea is tested, and idea itself was reduced to exact form   “It never happens that unconscious work supplies readymade the result of a lengthy calculation in which we have only to apply fixed rules
  • 24. Young “An idea, I thought, has some of that mysterious quality which romance lends to tales of the sudden appearance of islands in the South Seas. There, according to ancient mariners, in spots where the charts showed only blue-deep sea – there would suddenly appear a lovely atoll above the surface of the waters. The air of magic hung about it. And so it is, I thought, with ideas. They appear just as suddenly above the surface of the mind; and with that same air of magic and unaccountability.”
  • 25. Young But the scientist knows that the South Sea atoll is the work of countless, unseen coral builders, working below the surface of the sea. And so I asked myself: “Is an idea, too, like this? Is it only, the final result of a long series of unseen idea- building processes which go on beneath the surface of the conscious mind?
  • 26. Young This has brought me to the conclusion that the production of ideas is as definite process as the production of Fords; that the production of ideas, too, runs on an assembly line; that in this production the mind follows an operative technique which can be learned and controlled; and that its effective use is just as much a matter of practice in the technique as is the effective use of any tool.
  • 27. Young In learning any art, the important things to learn are, first, Principles; and second, Method. This is true for the art of producing ideas. So with the art of producing ideas. What is most valuable know is not where to look for a particular idea, but how to train the mind in the method by which the ideas are produced; and how to grasp the principles which are source of all ideas.
  • 28. Young   Principles   An idea is nothing more nor less than a new combination of old elements.   The capacity to bring old elements into new combinations, depends largely on the ability to see relationships.   Consequently, the habit of mind which leads to a search for relationships between facts becomes of the highest importance in the production of ideas.
  • 29. Process 1.  Gather raw materials 1.  Two kinds: specific and general 2.  In advertising, an idea result from a new combination of specific knowledge about the products and people, and with general knowledge about life and events. 2.  Masticating the raw materials 1.  Bring facts together and see how they fit 2.  Mental digestive process 3.  Take a break! 1.  Put the problem away, sleep over it, do something else… 2.  Let your unconscious kind work on it 4.  Idea emerges out of nowhere! 1.  Just when or where you least expect it 5.  Shaping and polishing into a practical idea 1.  Share it with the world, submit to criticism 2.  Work like inventor to go through with applying this adapting path of the process.
  • 30. Recap   We are just beginning to understand the neuroscience of creativity, and it does NOT involve left brain-right brain!   Various networks in the brain get triggered in the creative process, quite unconsciously   However, a creative process can help us streamline how our brain approaches creative problem solving   In the next class, we we do some creative exercises and play some creative games J
  • 32. References   For a more creative brain, follow these 5 steps, http://jamesclear.com/five-step-creative-process   It’s time to bury the idea of the Lone Genius Innovator, https://hbr.org/2016/04/its-time-to-bury-the-idea-of-the-lone-genius-innovator   The Science of Great Ideas – How to Train your Creative Brain, https://www.fastcompany.com/3022519/work-smart/the-science-of-great-ideas-how-to- train-your-creative-brains   How much sleep do you really need, http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1812420,00.html   Do creative people have more bad ideas than average?, https://www.quora.com/Do-creative-people-have-more-bad-ideas-than-average https://www.quora.com/Why-are-some-people-more-creative-than-others https://www.fastcodesign.com/3062292/evidence/brainstorming-is-dumb http://creativesomething.net/post/104671882899/john-cleese-nobody-has-any-idea-at- first
  • 33. Books   Orbiting the Giant Hairball – A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace, Gordon MacKenzie   A Whack on the Side of the Head – How You Can be More Creative, Roger Von Oech   The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery   A Technique for Producing Ideas: the simple five-step formula anyone can use to be more creative in business & in life!, James Webb Young