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Understanding our brain can help our creativity

a video from Tobias

Cognitive neuroscience tries to understand how the brain operates and what cognitive processes are involved in certain activities (or which parts are active or not active). To do this, neuroscientists use new technologies like fRMI, PET, EEG and MRI to scan the brain in real time.

This is obviously not easy when it comes to creativity, since there are several ways someone can be creative and often the creative process involved different stages. What has been clear for some time is that there is no one part of the brain that is responsible for creativity (Sawyer, 20111).

In an article from 2013, Onarheim and Friis-Olivarius argue that they ‘have discovered a new approach to train creativity’ through the use of neuroscience. They point out that:

‘the more one understands about the basic ways our brain function in relation to creativity, the more one is able to utilize ones full creative potential.’ (p.7)

Based on their research, they are suggesting that principles from neuroscience can contribute effectively to creativity training and produce measurable results on creativity tests.

Let us look at what we mean by ‘neuroscience principles’ and how that can help us. Then we will see how this aligns with the creative process.


Onarheim B and Friis-Olivarius M (2013) Applying the neuroscience of creativity to creativity training. Front. Link.
Sawyer, R. K (2011), The cognitive neuroscience of creativity. A critical review. Creativity Research Journal.
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Unlocking The Creative Brain: Develop and Teach Skills For Creative Thinking

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