The Creative Brain: How insight works

man displaying creative thinking

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We all have flashes of inspiration from time to time, brainwaves, the light bulb moment – creative Insight as scientists call it.

According to recent research scientists now know that these brain waves happen through reactions on the right side of the brain only and it’s a matter of matter, white matter really. Broadly speaking the less you have the more room there is for creativity – the more creative insight we can have.

They can now clearly see that distractions hinder creative ideas from coming so maybe we all need to cut out down on all the unnecessary info in our lives – watch less tv, spend less time playing with our phones and do more creative wandering.

Creativity seems to be all about speed or rather the lack of it. Creative thoughts apparently don’t speed straight down the motorway they move at a slow and meandering pace, they take the road less traveled – the B roads of our brains as it were.

Through simple tests with the general public the science bods demonstrated that focusing hard on a problem won’t help our brains to solve it in a creative way and surprisingly neither does sitting quietly thinking about it.

It’s the simple menial tasks that seem to keep our brain ticking over just enough to allow those sneaky little creative thoughts to creep in.

Apparently the ‘frontal lobes’ of our brain monitors our self awareness, keeps our behavior in check, stops us saying stupid things at inappropriate moments (most of the time…) but If we can turn off a little bit of this gate keeping for a while we can allow creative ideas to happen.

Which sounds all well and good but how do we do that?

They state that unexpected, unusual experiences allow us all to think more creatively – to disrupt our routines or normal patterns of thought we can allow new pathways to happen, even making little changes to our daily routine could help. So if we have a problem to solve maybe all we need to do is take a different route to work, change what or how we eat our breakfast……walk around the supermarket in a different order maybe?

The results from their experiments saw evidence of more creativity in people trying to solve a problem just by breaking a normal routine before tackling the same problem again.

So maybe we could all benefit from some mind meandering for a while to get those creative brainwaves flowing.

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