What is Creativity?
The word creativity is often used, but how much of it is understood? In this blog post I shall try to explore creativity generally then psychologically and then neurologically. The concept of creativity is ideally thought along the line of arts, and especially in the fine arts. But that might not necessarily a fact. Every field needs more creative persons now. We can tackle the current problems and the future ones only with the help of creative thinking. So, to fully understand the concept of Creativity we have to understand the three areas that can give inputs about it. They are sociology, Biology and Psychology.
To understand creativity from this stand point we must first ask “How we learn, anything? The more sociable learning is very important to be creative. The context of creativity here is to create new ideas. Barbara Oakley, a professor and the author of the book “Mind for numbers” explain we learn in two states. One is a focused state and the other is diffused state. The focused state, is where the social interactions play a very important role. Adult learning by far happens only through discussions and conversations. Intelligence is the result of these conversations and discussions. But to get creative ideas, one must use diffused state. In diffuse state, that is in a very relax state our brain works on the data we have acquired through the conversations and discussions.
There are neural networks in our brain. Each network is responsible for certain traits and action. Scientist from the Harvard University named “Roger E Beaty” has identified three networks in our brain are responsible or lights up when we come up with a creative idea or innovative thinking. The three are Default Mode Network, Executive Control Network, and Salience Network. The Default mode can be roughly correlated as a day dreaming or relaxed mode network. Executive control can be correlated to the focused mode where one pays attention and is focused. The Salience network lights up when you choose when to focus and when to be relaxed. The key is if your Default mode is on, then Executive control automatically switches itself off. The key to creativity biologically is to co-activate both these modes, or to de-activate salience mode more often.
Our Mind is a weird thing. It gets bored soon. It gets bored with repetition. It is very curious to new things, but when the same thing is given again it becomes less curious, the third time not curious at all, and the fourth time it is boring. It always prefers futuristic things. We can call it as novelty. But it is also afraid of totally new things. It needs a familiarity in the novelty. So any product or service is innovative only if it is a novel idea based on the familiar front. To correlate with biology executive central is what mind more wants but with the base of default mode.
So what can we understand about the three understanding we have seen above. Creativity is the ability to create things, it is not confined to one set of genre. The creativity is the middle path which lies between focused state and diffused state, between default mode and executive control mode, between familiarity and novelty. The key is to find this middle path and keep nurturing it.