Friday, January 2, 2009

This is your brain on...

In Brain Rules, John Medina talks about how the brain works in terms of learning and remembering. It's fascinating the way the brain routes information, separates and re-aggregates it, codes and decodes it, fills in the blanks, and works with split-second timing. (In my case, perhaps split-minute—and if you were at that dinner, you know what I mean.)

Medina explains how exercise can help you think better, how sleep can help you retain the information that you've learned, how using an emotional hook in your presentation can help keep your audience's attention, and how multisensory presentations can help your audience learn.

The book is geared toward learning and retaining what you've learned in the context of academics and business.

My question: What are the brain rules for creativity? If the brain works in certain ways to learn and remember, how does it work when developing or synthesizing new ideas?

Is the creative process, specifically from the brain's perspective, the same for a painter as for a nuclear physicist? Or the business manager trying to come up with a new solution (as opposed to remembering the details of someone else's)?

And are there additional ways that we can enhance that brain work? I'm betting that exercise and sleep still apply, but can we do other things to prepare the brain to create?

Can we help get our head into the creative zone?

Could that be Medina's next book?

2 comments:

~ said...

Interesting, Joannie!

RE: And are there additional ways that we can enhance that brain work? I'm betting that exercise and sleep still apply, but can we do other things to prepare the brain to create?


***I find meditative tasks (washing the dishes by hand, weeding, driving, showering!) can open the brain's creativity best for me.

I also find one of the best way to get my brain working creatively is to read others' writings.

The easiest way for me to shut down my brain is watch television shows (Grey's Anatomy, sit-coms, etc) however, I believe TV gets Jeannine's creativity flowing. So I think much of it depends on the person.

Great post!

Joannie said...

I, too, find that meditative tasks and reading others' writings help get me revved up.

I was really wondering about what was going on in the brain on a physiological level--are different regions involved, do the impulses route differently?

I sent in my question on the Brain Rules site, and apparently there is no currently known physiological difference between learning and creating.

On the one hand, this makes sense (learning as a creative act). On the other hand, they sure feel different when I'm doing them.