CogniFit's Science blog: Creativity - Think Outside The Box

Creativity - Think Outside The Box

Creativity is one of those most mysterious abilities human beings have. It isn’t just about having imagination for thinking and creating something new and difference. It is the ability to do so on a going basis, creating incremental value.

Why are some people more creative than others?

Some people may look at the horoscope to answer this question, and identify some signs of the Zoodiac that are more creative (Aquarius for instance) and those that are not (Virgo is one of them). This may work sometimes, but still lacks scientific validation.

Another way to look at if is to search inside the brain. Our brain is divided mainly in 2 separate areas, briefly called the left side and the right side. The left side is thought to be responsible for numbers and language, and more likely to be responsible for the process of logical information.

The right side of the brain, on the other hand, is responsible for the holistic view of information and patterns, and is known as the more creative half of the brain.

Another interesting information, is that the corpus callosum (which is the part of the brain linking the two halves) is thicker in people whose right side (the “creative one”) is dominant. This may mean that those who are more creative also have an ability to use their brains more efficiently.

The brain functions based on what it already knows (what is familiar) and stores the information accordingly. It’s somewhat like having an intelligent storage of information by topics, but in our brain this process is totally automatic. This logical organization is not friendly to the creativity process.

This means that the creativity is not a total natural process, it needs effort to unlearn what we have in our minds, to defy the way our brain works. The fact is that creativity is becoming increasingly important in our world, and therefore learning ways to increase it is an asset most people would be willing to have.

The neuroscience research on this area, from Daniel Pink to Eduard De Bono, isn’t yet clear about a single way to proceed. But some areas appear to have a common understanding. Promoting problem solving is an area that will foster more creativity. This means in other words, putting your brain to work intensively without clear rules may actually be the best way to increase your creativity abilities.

Motivation is another important enabler of creativity. The creative process is much more likely to appear when there is motivation from the individual to explore and go beyond the current approach. While the left and right theory may make sense, and some people are more likely to be creative than others, it finally comes out as an effort to train the brain to be creative. Everyone can be creative, just think outside the box.