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Posts Tagged "creativity"

Beautiful Minds

Do Painters Peak at the Golden Mean?

seurat

“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

openness

Openness to experience– the drive for cognitive exploration of inner and outer 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 [...]

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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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Beautiful Minds

Finding Creativity on IQ Tests

Cartoon Test taker

When I was a little tyke, my school psychologist told my parents that I was one of the most creative test takers he’d ever seen, but that it was a darn shame he couldn’t give me any points for being so creative on the IQ test. Instead, he shipped me off to a special school [...]

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Beautiful Minds

Is Your Child Ungifted?

PROLOGUE

  When Jay Leno asked Steve Carell how his kids were doing, he didn’t seem too concerned: “I hate it when people talk about kids on talk shows. I hate it, because every person who talks about their kids, their kids are obviously the most intelligent and the cutest. They’re all very, very gifted children. Ask [...]

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Beautiful Minds

How Renaissance People Think

Renaissance Person

Do you think like a polymath? Here’s a quick test: Are you more of a rational or intuitive thinker? If you cringed as you read the question and thought to yourself “I love constantly shifting between both modes of thought,” then you’re on the polymath path. According to psychologist Seymour Epstein’s cognitive-experiential self-theory, humans have [...]

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Guest Blog

To What Extent Do We See with Mathematics?

Variable X

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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Literally Psyched

If we remember more, can we read deeper–and create better? Part II.

Is memory essential for creativity? Image credit: Philip Bitnar / Koukej Makak Production 2010, Creative Commons.

In 1981, a 30-year-old man was driving home from work on his motorcycle. Maybe it was too dark. Maybe he was going too quickly. Maybe there was something on the road. Maybe his attention wandered. Whatever the reason, the routine trip soon took a traumatic turn: the motorcycle spun off the exit ramp, its rider [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

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

Mastermind book jacket

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?

Drawing of Bobby Fischer and chess board

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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