I make, therefore I think that I think.

I’ve been told, by my instructors and from watching documentaries on artist, that the way they make great work is by working. After doing some reading on cognitive neuroscience in relation to creativity, I’ve found the art experts are right. Although we think ideas come all at once in an aha! moment the brain has been working on it constantly. The aha! occurs when the conscious problem solving (Let us say how to stop a cat from making noise at night) is given a rest, and other parts of the brain are activated. The analogy between an activity seemingly unrelated (watching a soccer player lay peacefully unconscious, knocked out by a fast moving ball) and the problem at hand leads to the solution. In a Time interview with R. Keith Sawyer, Washington University pyshcologist, he sites a study of Samuel Langley’s government funded work on the first airplane. His plane failed, and the Wright brothers are famous because Langley didn’t make his airplane himself and the Wrights did. “Studying the Wrights’ diaries, you see that insight and execution are inextricably woven together.” (Time)

A bonus for me is creative people love to make analogies, have many interests, and have tons of terrible ideas(see previous blogs). So, the problem I see is that I have to make a problem to solve. All of the research I’ve read puts creativity in the context of problem solving. Which makes sense its the best way to control the experiment. If I create a specific question that needs an answer I’m set. The next hitch is that I tend to think of projects in a general way which makes keeps specific questions at bay. Well, let’s get this problem solved.

Incidentally my solution to the cat problem is to wear the cat out during the day by giving her a little ball to play with.  No animals were harmed in the construction of this blog.


~ by The Great and Powerful RB on September 13, 2007.

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