Roundup

The Creative Brain

  • Published18 Jun 2015
  • Reviewed18 Jun 2015
  • Author Michael W. Richardson
  • Source BrainFacts/SfN
Brain scans comparing the activity of jazz pianists interacting during improvisation show increased activity (red) in the lateral prefrontal cortex and language and sensorimotor areas, and decreased activity (blue) in the angular gyrus.
Unlocking Creativity in the Brain
Peering into the brains of people as they sing, brainstorm, and play is guiding neuroscientists to new insights into the neural underpinnings of creativity.

Courtesy, with permission: Charles Limb.
Brain scans comparing the activity of jazz pianists interacting during improvisation show increased activity (red) in the lateral prefrontal cortex and language and sensorimotor areas, and decreased activity (blue) in the angular gyrus.
Sillitoe, et al. The Journal of Neuroscience, 2008.
Could the Cerebellum Help Drive Creativity?
The highly connected region is active not only driving motor movements but also during cognitive tasks.

Sillitoe, et al. The Journal of Neuroscience, 2008.
Photo of Ed Catmull President of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios
Pixar President Ed Catmull on Building a Creative Culture
At his lecture at the Society for Neuroscience’s 2013 meeting, Catmull describes ways to foster creativity and how it intersects with neuroscience.

Photo of Ed Catmull President of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios
Painting by William Powell Frith, "Sleep" - 1873.
Visualizing Art
Researchers have begun to reveal how creating visual art affects brain function.

William Powell Frith
Painting by William Powell Frith, "Sleep" - 1873.
Black and white photograph of musicians; one playing trumpet and the other playing the clarinet.
Why Do Songs Get Stuck in Our Heads?
Why some tunes lodge in our brains isn’t so clear. Here are a few theories.

Photo by Howard Ignatius
Black and white photograph of musicians; one playing trumpet and the other playing the clarinet.
Photo of Charles Limb.
Charles Limb: Your Brain on Improv
Musician and researcher Charles Limb wondered how the brain works during musical improvisation — so he put jazz musicians and rappers in an fMRI to find out.
Photo of Charles Limb.
Artist Chuck Close
Artist Chuck Close and the Science of Face Blindness
Chuck Close has face blindness, yet he paints portraits of the human face. Watch his Neuroscience 2012 talk to learn about the skill behind his art.
Artist Chuck Close

The act of creativity, whether it’s writing a new song or coming up with a novel solution to an everyday problem, is a fundamental human experience.  But where does this ability come from? To find out more about creativity and the brain, browse through the images and their descriptions and click on the link in each caption to read the full articles.

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