Magazine article Stage Directions

Creativity by Numbers

Magazine article Stage Directions

Creativity by Numbers

Article excerpt

"I am an energy being connected to the energy all around me through the consciousness of my right hemisphere... And in this moment we are perfect, we are whole and we are beautiful. My left hemisphere, our left hemisphere, is a very different place." - Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor

A recent study led by John Kounios at Drexel University attempted to map out what differences, if any, existed between the brainwaves of people who solved problems with a flash of insight and the brainwaves of those who solved problems in a methodical fashion.

Turns out that there is a difference, at least according to the study, which was published in the journal Neuropsychologic in July 2007. According to their abstract, the researchers found that "spectral analyses yielded group differences in resting-state EEG supporting hypotheses concerning insight-related attentional diffusion and right-lateralized hemispheric asymmetry.' In English: The brainwave patterns of people who reported that they solved problems intuitively, or creatively, were significantly different than people who solved them methodically, and these different brain patterns were present even when the brain wasn't solving problems.

Perhaps due to my own creativity, I thought about this study when I was recently arguing over proposed changes to my own writing. Naturally, I felt that my first draft was perfect, and when changes were requested, I balked. The conclusions I reached seemed patently self-evident to me. …

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