The brain has a unique approach to creativity. Several areas of the right hemisphere become highly active, while the visual processing area of the brain experiences diffuse, rather than focused, activity, according to a study by John Kounios, professor of psychology at Drexel University and Mark Jung-Beeman of Northwestern University, who monitored brain activity during creative problem-solving. Another recent study, by Kalina Christoff of the University of British Columbia and colleagues, found that the portion of your mind that wanders can sometimes cooperate with more focused regions of thought to help bring in fresh ideas and insights.
There are a lot of exciting new findings in brain research that suggest creativity involves complex coordination of many areas of the brain in particular, unique ways. Whereas we once might have described creativity as a sort of mental muscle that simply needed to be kept strong, now it appears that creative thought is a higher-level process involving the coordinated efforts of many mental muscles. Pumping a few ions every now and then in a brainstorming session won’t get you into peak creative shape, any more than lifting leg weights will prepare you to walk across Niagara Falls on a tightrope. So, what can we do to be in peak creative condition?
Since creativity requires complex coordination of multiple brain areas and functions, from daydreaming to connecting distant thoughts, it’s important to exercise your creative coordination through a variety of complex creative challenges. Here is a great set of exercises you can use, alone or in a team or staff meeting, to increase creative strength and coordination within the brain:
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About the Author
Alex Hiam (www.alexhiam.com) is the author of more than 20 popular books on business, including Business Innovation For Dummies, Marketing For Dummies, and Marketing Kit for Dummies. A lecturer at the business school at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, he has consulted with many Fortune 500 firms and large U.S. government agencies.