zondag 31 januari 2016

Another look at creativity

The NY Times has an article Scientists Move Closer to Understanding Schizophrenia’s Cause. They found a clear correlation between a gene connected to pruning brain cell connections and schizophrenia. This gene is far from the only cause, but the correlation is clear. It also explains why schizophrenia usually start in late adolescence or early adulthood when pruning is strongest. Now creativity is often correlated with schizophrenia. So it would be logical to assume that this might somehow be correlated with pruning too. One theory of creativity holds that creative people have so much links in their brain that other people don't have. That would suggest that they have less pruning. However, my view is that the main thing that discerns creative people is not more ideas but less filtering. In that context it looks like that all those extra links in less creative people serve as brakes that make that ideas are rejected at an early stage because some objection is found. Another article (How to Raise a Creative Child. Step One: Back Off) gave another clue about creativity - that training hampers our flexibility: First, can’t practice itself blind us to ways to improve our area of study? Research reveals that the more we practice, the more we become entrenched — trapped in familiar ways of thinking. Expert bridge players struggled more than novices to adapt when the rules were changed; expert accountants were worse than novices at applying a new tax law.

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