Brain Creativity – Where Does It Come From?
Creativity is a vital aspect of human intelligence that has enabled us to achieve some of the most remarkable feats in human history. However, understanding where creativity comes from has been a topic of debate among scholars and researchers for decades. In this article, we will delve deep into the brain’s creative process, exploring the various theories and models that explain where creativity comes from.
The brain is split into two halves, a right, and a left hemisphere. Both have their own specialized way of thinking. The left side is the cold, analytical part of the brain whereas the right is the creative, emotional side of the brain. For more about left vs right thinking and dominance tests, check here.
So traditionally we say that our brain creativity flows forward from the right hemisphere of the brain but as we will see, to be truly creative it takes efforts from both hemispheres of the brain. That’s right, you gotta use the whole thing!
Understanding the Creative Process
Before delving into where creativity comes from, it’s essential to understand the creative process. Creativity involves the generation of new and original ideas that can manifest in various forms, including art, music, literature, science, and technology. The creative process is typically divided into four stages, which are:
This is the stage where the creator prepares their mind for the creative process. This stage involves research, gathering of information, brainstorming, and organizing thoughts.
During the incubation stage, the creator takes a break from actively thinking about the project. This stage allows the brain to subconsciously process the information gathered during the preparation stage.
This is the ‘Eureka’ moment, where the creator experiences an epiphany or breakthrough in their thinking. This stage can be described as a sudden burst of inspiration.
The final stage involves refining and developing the idea to ensure it meets the desired outcome.
Left and Right Brains Pitch In
The right side of the brain may be the actual creative engine, churning out ideas but it can’t do it alone. The left brain has to frame the problem or task (painting for instance) so you can understand in practical terms what needs to be done. Then the right can be unleashed to generate possible solutions or strategies (how to paint it) but then again it’s up to the left side to execute the plan. The left side then analyzes and refines the ideas and puts them into action.
There are many times when the left brain is engaged in some sort of repetitive activity and is suspended or left on autopilot. A great example of this is driving. Have you ever driven down a well-known route, maybe to work or back home, and begin to daydream or plan and suddenly realize that you have arrived?
What happens is that since driving is mostly a left-brained activity and since your route is a well-practiced series of movements for you, your left brain gets put on the back burner and your right brain emerges as the dominant half. while the left side is on autopilot the right is allowed to churn away at full speed. Moments like these are probably some of the most creative moments you have.
There are some biological indicators of creativity. Research has shown that highly creative people who excel at creative innovation are capable of divergent thinking, which is controlled by the frontal lobe, and are able to manipulate or redeploy those neurotransmitters in their frontal lobe. Having a high level of specialized knowledge also helps draw inspiration during the creative process.
3 Steps to Become More Creative
- First, you need to challenge your brain and keep it sharp, regularly and it will make a habit of coming up with creative solutions. Exercise your brain with brain teasers, logic problems, etc. This will make sure that all the gears are well oiled in your brain, making it ready to tackle anything.
- Second, train your brain to think and act differently. Different is the key! Do things differently from how you would normally do them, with the opposite hand maybe, or in reverse order. Try dressing with one hand or using a new route to work. Routinely doing things in a new way creates and reinforces new neural pathways in your brain, literally creating new ways of thinking.
- Third, you’ll need a large pool of knowledge and experience to draw inspiration from. This means getting out there and trying new things, meeting new people, and experiencing more. This will broaden your realm of what is possible out there in this world. Learning how other people do things will give you insight into solving your own problem or tackling a task.
While training to be more creative remember that your brain will respond to encouragement. When it sends signals, you should pay attention to them. If you reward the action, the action will increase with frequency and refinement. You can do this by acknowledging yourself when you are being creative. You can further encourage the onslaught of creative ideas by acting on those ideas. This gets the left brain involved as well in the creative process. With a little effort and persistence, you should notice ideas coming to you easier than before.
What side of the Brain is Creativity
The idea that creativity is primarily located in one hemisphere of the brain (i.e., the right or left) is a common misconception. Creativity actually involves the interaction of different brain regions and neural networks across both hemispheres, including the frontal lobe, temporal lobe, and limbic system.
Research has shown that the left hemisphere of the brain is more involved in language and analytical thinking, while the right hemisphere is more involved in spatial processing and creativity. However, this does not mean that one hemisphere is solely responsible for creativity. In fact, the creative process involves the integration of different cognitive processes, including divergent thinking, insight, and intuition, which are distributed throughout the brain.
Therefore, creativity cannot be localized to one specific side of the brain, but rather involves complex interactions between different neural networks and brain regions across both hemispheres.