Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Your Brain on Creativity

[29 February 2008 - WebMD ] To Get Your Creative Juices Flowing, Your Inner Critic Must Hush -- For creativity to have a chance, the brain needs to get out of its own way and go with the flow. That's the bottom line from a new study on creativity. The study included six full-time professional jazz musicians. They got their brains scanned while playing a scale or a memorized jazz piece exactly as written and again when they were free to improvise, riffing off the assigned music. When they improvised, the brain's dorsolateral prefrontal and lateral orbital regions were far less active -- and another brain area, the medial prefrontal cortex, was more active. The brain regions that were quiet during improvisation are involved in consciously monitoring, evaluating, and correcting behaviors, write the researchers. In contrast, the medial prefrontal cortex allows self-expression, in this case in the form of jazz improvisation, according to the study. But creativity isn't just about self-expression. The brain's sensory regions were more active during improvisation. More

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