Neuroscience of Creativity

Source: Creativity Post, Feb 2016
<primary source: Psychon Bull Review, 2014>

Despite a flurry of activity in cognitive neuroscience, recent reviews have shown that there is no coherent picture emerging from the neuroimaging work.

Based on this, we take a different route and apply two well established paradigms to the problem. First is the evolutionary framework that, despite being part and parcel of creativity research, has no informed experimental work in cognitive neuroscience. Second is the emerging prediction framework that recognizes predictive representations as an integrating principle of all cognition.

all theories and approaches guiding empirical research on creativity – divergent thinking, defocused attention, right brains, low arousal, prefrontal activation, alpha enhancement, etc. – have not been supported by the neuroimaging evidence. Recent reviews that take all data into account have shown that for each of these proposals there is more evidence against it than supports it (Arden, Chavez, Grazioplene, & Jung, 2010; Dietrich & Kanso, 2010; Sawyer, 2011).

The commonly mooted definition of creativity – something useful, novel, and surprising – is too vague to be useful for either laboratory work or psychometric assessment.

there seems nevertheless to be a strong instinctive tug against the idea that creativity can be formalized to any significant extent using an evolutionary approach (see, for instance, Sternberg, 1999).

All sides concur with the basic notion that we generate and evaluate ideas on a trial and error basis, in a manner similar to a variation-selection process (Kronfeldner, 2010)

a common denominator on vital points, namely that human creativity is a variational system that involves the partial coupling of variation to selection.

Campbell (1960) proposed that creative thought results from the twofold process of blind variation (BV) followed by selective retention (SR), or BVSR. 

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