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Posts Tagged "creativity"

Beautiful Minds

Introducing… The Imagination Institute!

The Imagination Institute

One of humanity’s most precious resources is imagination. Our ability to overcome the constraints of the present environment and travel to distant places and hopeful futures all in the mind is a skill that is hugely neglected in today’s society. With our intense focus on enabling students and employees to master what is, we are [...]

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Beautiful Minds

The Controlled Chaos of Creativity

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Fifty years ago, Sarnoff Mednick defined the process of creative thinking as “the forming of associative elements into new combinations which either meet specific requirements or are in some way useful. The more mutually remote the elements of the new combination, the more creative the process or solution.” Mednick argued that creative people have flat associative [...]

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Beautiful Minds

The Philosophy of Creativity

The Philosophy of Creativity

There is little that shapes the human experience as profoundly and pervasively as creativity. Creativity drives progress in every human endeavor, from the arts to the sciences, business, and technology. We celebrate and honor people for their creativity, identifying eminent individuals, as well as entire cultures and societies, in terms of their creative achievements. Creativity [...]

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Beautiful Minds

Do Painters Peak at the Golden Mean?

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“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” — that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know. – John Keats The golden mean, or divine proportion, has fascinated philosophers, mathematicians, artists, and scientists for centuries. Represented as a fraction by the decimal .6180 (to four decimal places), ancient Greek philosophers believed that this [...]

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Beautiful Minds

Creativity in the Brain

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What’s going on in the brain when we reason, create, and imagine? A group of thoughtful cognitive neuroscientists have been unraveling some of creativity’s mysterious origins (see “The Real Neuroscience of Creativity” or the recent edited volume “Neuroscience of Creativity”). What has become clear is that the left brain/right brain distinction is an oversimplification, and [...]

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Beautiful Minds

Openness to Experience and Creative Achievement

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Openness to experience– the drive for cognitive exploration of inner experience– is the personality trait most consistently associated with creativity. But there are many different forms of cognitive exploration. Just to name a few, openness to experience comprises intellectual curiosity, complex problem solving and reasoning, imagination, artistic and aesthetic interests, and emotional and fantasy richness. Recent [...]

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Beautiful Minds

The Need for Pretend Play in Child Development

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[This post was co-authored with Jerome L. Singer and Dorothy G. Singer] Many people often think of play in the form of images of young children at recess engaging in games of tag, ball, using slides, swings, and physically exploring their environments. But physical play is not the only kind of play. We often use [...]

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Beautiful Minds

Nostalgia and Creativity

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Lately I’ve become increasingly nostalgic: Nostalgic of my college years, old friends, and my more carefree days without as many commitments and responsibilities. It’s comforting to know that such nostalgia may have some adaptive functions. For one, research shows that nostalgia can serve an important existential, meaning-making function that allows people to cope with the knowledge [...]

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Beautiful Minds

The Real Link Between Creativity and Mental Illness

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“There is only one difference between a madman and me. I am not mad.”          —Salvador Dali The romantic notion that mental illness and creativity are linked is so prominent in the public consciousness that it is rarely challenged. So before I continue, let me nip this in the bud: Mental illness is neither necessary nor sufficient for creativity. The [...]

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Beautiful Minds

The Real Neuroscience of Creativity

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So yea, you know how the left brain is really realistic, analytical, practical, organized, and logical, and the right brain is so darn creative, passionate, sensual, tasteful, colorful, vivid, and poetic? No. Just no. Stop it. Please. Thoughtful cognitive neuroscientists such as Anna Abraham, Mark Beeman, Adam Bristol, Kalina Christoff, Andreas Fink, Jeremy Gray, Adam Green, Rex Jung, John Kounios, Hikaru Takeuchi, Oshin Vartanian, Darya Zabelina [...]

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Guest Blog

To What Extent Do We See with Mathematics?

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When I first became fascinated with mathematics’ tightly knit abstract structures, its prominence in physics and engineering reassured me.  Mathematics’ indisputable value in science made it clear that my preoccupation with its intangible expressions was not pathological.  The captivating creative activity of doing mathematics has real consequences. During my graduate school years, I began to [...]

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Guest Blog

The educational value of creative disobedience

  “The principle goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done – men who are creative, inventive and discoverers” –Jean Piaget   Looking back on my childhood, the times I remember most fondly were spent with my father, learning how to [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

The Hidden Power of Others Over You [Video]

Courtesy of brizzle born and bred via Flickr.

        // Editor’s note: Brain Basics from Scientific American Mind is a series of short video primers on the brain and how we feel, think and act. Below is a synopsis of the third video in the series written by a guest on this blog, Roni Jacobson, a science journalist based in [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes: The Value of Creativity and Imagination [Excerpt]

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By Maria Konnikova Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes. Reprinted by arrangement with Viking, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., Copyright © 2013 by Maria Konnikova. “It is surprising that people do not believe that there is imagination in science,” Nobel-winning physicist Richard Feynman once [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

How Do You Spot a Genius?

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The November/December Scientific American Mind, which debuted online today, examines the origins of genius, a concept that inspires both awe and confusion. Some equate genius with IQ or creativity; others see it as extraordinary accomplishment. As this issue reveals, genius seems to arise from a mosaic of forces that coalesce into a perfect storm of [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

When Sleeping Turns Deadly and Other Strange Tales from Scientific American MIND

The July/August issue of Scientific American Mind made its debut online late last week. Here I divulge some of the more surprising and useful lessons from its pages. Dozing Dangerously Sleepwalking is one of the strangest phenomena I have ever witnessed. Despite its name, it doesn’t resemble any other kind of sleep I’ve seen. To [...]

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