A Journey into Chaos: Creativity and the Unconscious (2011)
by Nancy C. Andreasen, MD, PhD
Abstract Excerpt: “This paper will review introspective accounts from highly creative individuals. These accounts suggest that unconscious processes play an important role in achieving creative insights. Neuroimaging studies of the brain during ‘REST’ (random episodic silent thought, also referred to as the default state) suggest that the association cortices are the primary areas that are active during this state and that the brain is spontaneously reorganising and acting as a self-organising system. Neuroimaging studies also suggest that highly creative individuals have more intense activity in association cortices when performing tasks that challenge them to ‘make associations.’ Studies of creative individuals also indicate that they have a higher rate of mental illness than a noncreative comparison group, as well as a higher rate of both creativity and mental illness in their first-degree relatives. This raises interesting questions about the relationship between the nature of the unconscious, the unconscious and the predisposition to both creativity and mental illness.”
I had read this article in the past, but I stumbled upon it once again as I was searching more into the unconscious and creativity. But it’s so dissatisfying! She states in the background how we may know the ‘where’ but not the ‘how.’ In other words, we may know what areas are ‘activated during creativity’ but not how they lead to creativity. Thus she designs a study that images association cortices because they’re “most active during REST when a person is engaged in free-ranging and uncensored thought,” which is important to creative thinking. I do not disagree that they are important, but simply confirming this does not answer the ‘how.’
Dr. Andreasen mentions the study still being in its early stages, but they can see that 1) the association were good choices to study 2) the areas are stronger in activation in creative people vs. control 3) the activations seem to be the same between scientists and artists. Lovely. But HOW does the idea pop out?? What is the process in which these association cortices engage and an useful idea comes into fruition?? Her more recent paper (2012) is simply a study of point 3 mentioned previously. I love that it supports the lack of a great distinction between creative thinking in artists and scientists, but it’s still not enough. Recently, she has been working a lot on schizophrenia and PTSD. This is related to her thoughts that creativity is found in many mentally ill creators and their family. Admittedly, I am also interested in the positive symptoms in schizophrenia as well as in PTSD, but she hasn’t published much more on creativity.
My interests are slightly different from hers. She seems to be focusing on what makes someone creative, but I’m more interested in just the creative process- how is a person creative? What goes on in the brain when someone is being creative (since I believe everyone is or has the potential to be creative)?
(Also. what exactly is “awareness/consciousness”???)

A Journey into Chaos: Creativity and the Unconscious (2011)

by Nancy C. Andreasen, MD, PhD

Abstract Excerpt: “This paper will review introspective accounts from highly creative individuals. These accounts suggest that unconscious processes play an important role in achieving creative insights. Neuroimaging studies of the brain during ‘REST’ (random episodic silent thought, also referred to as the default state) suggest that the association cortices are the primary areas that are active during this state and that the brain is spontaneously reorganising and acting as a self-organising system. Neuroimaging studies also suggest that highly creative individuals have more intense activity in association cortices when performing tasks that challenge them to ‘make associations.’ Studies of creative individuals also indicate that they have a higher rate of mental illness than a noncreative comparison group, as well as a higher rate of both creativity and mental illness in their first-degree relatives. This raises interesting questions about the relationship between the nature of the unconscious, the unconscious and the predisposition to both creativity and mental illness.”

I had read this article in the past, but I stumbled upon it once again as I was searching more into the unconscious and creativity. But it’s so dissatisfying! She states in the background how we may know the ‘where’ but not the ‘how.’ In other words, we may know what areas are ‘activated during creativity’ but not how they lead to creativity. Thus she designs a study that images association cortices because they’re “most active during REST when a person is engaged in free-ranging and uncensored thought,” which is important to creative thinking. I do not disagree that they are important, but simply confirming this does not answer the ‘how.’

Dr. Andreasen mentions the study still being in its early stages, but they can see that 1) the association were good choices to study 2) the areas are stronger in activation in creative people vs. control 3) the activations seem to be the same between scientists and artists. Lovely. But HOW does the idea pop out?? What is the process in which these association cortices engage and an useful idea comes into fruition?? Her more recent paper (2012) is simply a study of point 3 mentioned previously. I love that it supports the lack of a great distinction between creative thinking in artists and scientists, but it’s still not enough. Recently, she has been working a lot on schizophrenia and PTSD. This is related to her thoughts that creativity is found in many mentally ill creators and their family. Admittedly, I am also interested in the positive symptoms in schizophrenia as well as in PTSD, but she hasn’t published much more on creativity.

My interests are slightly different from hers. She seems to be focusing on what makes someone creative, but I’m more interested in just the creative process- how is a person creative? What goes on in the brain when someone is being creative (since I believe everyone is or has the potential to be creative)?

(Also. what exactly is “awareness/consciousness”???)

Excerpt from Interview with Beau Lotto

Found here

"Do you believe we can train ourselves to be truly creative, even as adults?

Yes, we can train ourselves to be creative, but not formulaically. This is because the source of creativity is a way of being. The most  essentialaspect of creativity is one’s approach to life. How one engages with life should vary depending on the problem at hand.

This is why the aim of my talks is to raise the awareness of what that way of being needs to be. In other words, to explain why we are creative, why creativity isn’t actually creative at all, and why seeing differently is the source of creativity. This is in contrast to the usual approach of asking what is creativity, who is creative, and what are they like? If you just give someone a method, and they’ve no idea why they’re doing it, or what they’re doing, they’ll simply reapply the same process to other’s conflicts, challenges and questions. However, in fact, the method itself should be questioned and adapted.”

generalelectric
generalelectric:

Transform your desk into a manufacturing hub with our 3D-printed jet engine assembly kit. This 14-piece model makes the perfect gift for aviation geeks, engine enthusiasts, friends, relatives, baristas, and pets (don’t actually give this to your pets). To create this badass machine right at home, head to our Thingiverse page to download the files and view the step-by-step assembly instructions. Happy jet-setting!

generalelectric:

Transform your desk into a manufacturing hub with our 3D-printed jet engine assembly kit. This 14-piece model makes the perfect gift for aviation geeks, engine enthusiasts, friends, relatives, baristas, and pets (don’t actually give this to your pets). To create this badass machine right at home, head to our Thingiverse page to download the files and view the step-by-step assembly instructions. Happy jet-setting!

Not very accurate, but a portrait nonetheless. Drawn for the Scratch self-introduction that I did for LCL (found here http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/24619908/#player - sloppy, but I wanted to do it without being too much of a perfectionist… share yours if you make one!).

This would be my first animation-like images in a long, looong time. I’ve never been a big animator- maybe I will start.

Process: Wanted a “sprite” in my Intro that would wave in some manner. This time, I used a large, blurry brush for my initial sketch, which helped a lot, actually. Usually, I use a rather thin brush, but using the big brush helped me focus on the overall shape and pose. Then I went straight into drawing my sketchy lineart (two layers to create lineart is really rare for me). Colored in solids, no shading. Keeping it simple. I drew the hand-waving one first and then cut, pasted, and painted the left arm to create the image to the right. Done in Sai but saved PNG in Photoshop to have transparent background.

art (c) 2014 MT

Learning Creative Learning (MIT Media Lab)

Creative Learning is about creative education- exploring how people can learn in various ways. This online course/community was made as a platform where people can learn, discuss, and share our experiences in creative learning.

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So I just discovered this (slow, I know) and have been watching the videos and doing the assignments. I am only on the second one (just need to write a short commentary about projects to move on), but it’s fun!

If you also start, please share your experience! :)

harvest-tech

harvest-tech:

3D printing in the classroom! Read this interesting article about a unique 3D printing program for middle school and high school students.