(Marty) #1

We know surprisingly little about the neurological cor-
relates of scientific creativity. It simply has not been
investigated nearly enough in a direct manner. But we
can derive sound expectations from what we know
about the brain basis of different types of reasoning
and problem-solving processes as well as from behav-
ioral studies. The latter point to the importance of
accruing knowledge beyond one’s field of expertise, the
ability to focus on the unexpected, and the relevant
influence of group factors in the work context.
Research on different artistic forms of creativity (musi-
cal, literary, kinesthetic, visual) are similar in empha-
sizing how the relevant perception, imagery, cognitive
and motor skills become heightened as a function of
expertise, the unique experience of flow as well as the
vital dynamism between exteroceptive and interocep-
tive factors during creative performance. The relevant
brain networks that underlie these functions are there-
by implicated in the same. One must also bear in mind
that there are several differences between the artistic
creativity forms in terms of temporal properties of the
creative experience, levels of social isolation associated
with creative practice, the creator-recipient relation-
ship, the propensity for mental illness, and so on.
As it currently stands, the brain basis of creativity
with regard to the distinct creative domains is still at
the nascent stage. This is primarily because there are
serious challenges to neuroscientifically examining
domain-specific forms of creativity. They typically
involve gross motor action (kinesthetic creativity) or
fine motor action (musical creativity, literary creativity,
visual artistic creativity), and most neuroscientific
methods are not conducive to a great deal of move-
ment. Temporal factors also pose significant stumbling
blocks in this regard. Neuroscientific methods are great
at capturing the workings of the brain as derived from
neural activity in short-term present. But the creation

of a formidable work of art, a skillful performance, or a
novel scientific theory all transpire over extended and
variable periods of time. So the neural basis of these is
less well known. Luckily for us increasingly more schol-
ars are inventive in being able to tap creative processes
across domains by using oblique approaches. So a fasci-
nating picture is slowly unraveling. M
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