The Science Behind Our Madness
Updated: Nov 20, 2019
Much like intelligence, creativity may be a trait that’s more prominent in some individuals as compared to others. Science has proven that creative people are neurologically wired a little differently.
So what exactly makes right-brainers so different?
The Three Neural Networks
Brain researchers have identified three main active networks in the brain which have been proven to be active brain regions during periods of heightened creativity.
To really understand how the brain works when we’re being creative, let’s get acquainted with the creative team in our heads.
First, we have the default network, which operates mainly within the posterior cingulate in the brain. Because we’re not exactly neurologists, we aren’t going to dive too deep into that. Basically, the default network is activated when someone is engaged in free thought, like daydreaming or imagining.
The executive control network, on the other hand, is responsible for evaluating an idea and is based in the anterior insula of the brain. This network becomes active when one is working at assessing the feasibility of an idea, and whether or not the idea is in line with goals.
Lastly, we have the last member of the creative team — the salience network. The salience network, based in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, scans ideas and helps determine which ideas get passed to the executive control network to evaluate.
The Creative Brain
You could think of the three networks as members of a team. Except this team is a little different — its members don’t work at the same time.
For instance, if an individual's default network is active, their executive control network would be deactivated.
What REALLY sets creative people apart is their ability to activate the different networks simultaneously. This means that while their default network is activated, the executive control and salience network aren’t completely shut off.
The ability to operate different brain networks that do not typically work together are what makes creative people better at divergent thinking.
What Researchers Say
By simply examining the neural patterns in brain activity alone, researchers were able to predict creativity in individuals.
Brain scans were obtained from some 405 Chinese participants, and by simply studying MRI data reflecting their brains at rest, researchers were able to determine who was more or less creative.
Enhancing Brain Connectivity
As branding people, we know how important it is to zig when they zag. And that definitely requires some form of divergent thinking.
With improved connectivity in your brain, you may be able to enhance your ability to think creatively. This can be done by training yourself to have better control of the hemispheres in your brain by engaging in certain activities.
Try learning a foreign language, playing a musical instrument or even reading abstract or intellectually stimulating material — these are all great ways to help engage the different creative networks in your brain.
Discover other fun ways to boost your creativity here: http://bit.ly/tocboostcreativity.