SCI-ART LAB

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Creativity in the context of art is a mental process involving the generation of new ideas or concepts or new associates of the creative mind between existing ideas or concepts.
From a scientific point of view the products of creative thought are usually considered to have both originality and appropriateness.
Biological basis of creativity:
First of all let me give the list of qualities a creative person should have.
1. A creative person should be a keen observer.
2. The brain of a creative person should be more receptive to the incoming stimuli.
3. Creative individual should be able to remain in contact with the extra information constantly coming from the environment.
4. His mind should have good reasoning power i.e., he should be able to think and analyse the data gathered by his senses in proper sequencing and should be able to select good ones and discard preconceived and useless ones*.
5. He should know how to channel his newly acquired knowledge.
6. He should be open to new possibilities.

A person would be demonstrating creativity if he is able to
1. Invent something which has never existed before or which exist elsewhere but he is not aware of.
2. Invent a new process for doing something .
3. Reapply an existing process or product into a new arena or sphere.
4. Develop a new way of looking at something ( bringing a new idea into existence)
5. Change the way someone else looks at something.

Creativity has been associated with right brain activity and lateral thinking. However, creative innovation might require co-activation and communication between regions of the brain that ordinarily are not strongly connected. Highly creative people who excel at creative innovation tend to differ from others in three ways:
1. They have high levels of specialized knowledge.
2. They have divergent thinking mediated by frontal lobe (of the brain).
3. They are able to modulate neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine in their frontal lobe.

So the frontal lobe seems to be the part of the cortex that is most important for creativity.
Creative drive is the result of interaction between the frontal lobes, the temporal lobes and dopamine from the limbic system. The frontal lobe can be seen as responsible for idea generation & the temporal lobes for idea editing & evaluation. The right hemisphere dominant individuals are both creative & emotional & those engaged in artistic pursuits express both qualities in ample measure.
According to recent studies the birth of a "genius" occurs when the mind, the brain and the soul of a person meets i.e., when his "Trinity Talks".
The mind is a virtual entity, one that reflects the working of neural networks, chemical and harmonal systems in our brain. Our feelings, thoughts and emotions are represented in our brains. Therefore, the brain and the mind are a unitary organ with diverse functions. A soul is the vital force that inspires, energises and stimulates us.
People who excel in creativity have inspirational periods when their mind, brain and soul are in sinc! When this trinity talks an individual can excel in his creativity or production of new works. These are called sparks of enlightenment. The more frequent & more sustained these experiences & the willingness of the person who have these to explore & follow up on them, the more successful & productive he will be.
"No" is the answer to the question "Can you give aperson a blood test or a genetic test that determines their creativity or the limits of it. People tried to develop a Creativity Quotient of an individual similar to IQ but failed to do so. Please read my earlier article related to this topic here:
http://artlab.ning.com/profiles/blogs/science-amp-art-reality
A standard measure is difficult to develop because most of the measures of creativity are dependent on the personal judgement of the tester and cannot be proved beyond doubt.

*While working on this I found a very interesting fact. It seems only 4% of all the ideas individuals get can be termed as good. Rest of the ideas can be average & substandard. So a good creative person should be able to discard these substandard ideas. If he tries to turn them into art works....well, need I say more?


This article tries to differentiate between a real creative person & an ordinary artist. Only if an individual has the qualities of a creative person- he is considered as "the best". Also, the word" genius" cannot be used to describe every ordinary Tom, Dick & Harry. There are certain standards to mark a genius.

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First of all let me make this very clear. My article is based on years of scientific research by neuro scientists. They have studied thousands of creative people & came to these conclusions. If people dismiss them as not correct for argument sake, well it shows the shallowness & a closed state of a mind & I don't want to argue with such people & waste my time. I feel we have not yet reached such mental heights as to question the systematic scientific studies & the intellectual capabilities of scientists. Here the argument is quite shallow.
The neuroscientists studied thousands of creative people and came to these conclusions. By reading this article & following it you cannot become a creative person. Creative people already have these traits in them. And only if they have these traits, they are considered to be really creative. Otherwise they are ordinary artists.
Yes, some of the artists are mentally unstable too. That was what I touched too. Emotion & creativity both arise
from the right side of brain. Right hemisphere of brain is considered as the Creative half of human brain. This half also happens to be the emotional hemisphere. According to neuroscientists , intense emotional sparks result in creativity in some parts of brain. These sparks are responsible for mental disorders.
Specialized knowledge is about the subject they are dealing with- it can come from peoples experiences too- from the environment they are living in. They need not go to schools & have real literary education! What a superficial assumption!
If people are not receptive to external stimuli & can't process them in their minds there is no difference between an animal & evolved human brains! Because that is what differentiates a human brain & an animal brain. I can only say - if a person has no deep understanding of things & can only see superficiality of things like colours, light & their interplay, texture etc. they can only make good visual treats but can never create a masterpiece. These days even animals are creating art works!

Scientists know how chemicals in the brain work. If you say nobody knows, I can only smile & say...well I better not say it.
Intellectuals & experts decide what " substandard" is - not you & me.
I feel what you have argued is just superficial & has no depth & substance in it. I am afraid you didn't understand the article properly. Read it again & again, analyse it properly. Don't waste my time with arguments. Say something that really teases my brain.
Krishna

Ninon CZ said:
Hi ~ Okay. I read this. Let me think about what you said a bit before I reply too extensively.
This article sounds very rational and reasonable and I am sure that many people would find it an acceptable way of looking at the subject. However, in creativity and with the brain there are simply too many unknowns to create a "model" for describing it or how it functions or who might have it.
In science you can create a model that behaves the same each time. In art and/or creativity you cannot do this. For example: You can describe creativity in general, but you won't be able use this to create something creative. Does this make sense? By reading a book or reading what creativity might be won't make someone a Leonardo.

It sounds very reasonable and rational "on paper," however, you are aware that the best known artists in history appear to have been considered schizophrenic or have a high level of schizophrenia or are "considered" mentally ill on some level? Of course there are many people creating art who are not, but the ones who have been transformative have been considered a little, "crazy." Most of them never promoted their own work because they simply didn't have the ability to do this. Their brains simply seem to work differently than the "average" or "normal" person and usually in a socially unacceptable way. They also tend to suffer from depression, addiction and other issues. They also do not seem to be able to stay in contact with "reality" as we know it very successfully and this is why they are able to create innovative things.

I am trying to think of some of the known and most famous artist that we can compare these statements to. I can't really think of many who had, "high levels of specialized knowledge." Perhaps you could say Leonardo Da Vinci did, but this would be an exception. Many known artists of the past have been poor and uneducated people.

Something you touch on here that would be another very good exploration is what I think explains some of the above statements I have made: "2. The brain of a creative person should be more receptive to the incoming stimuli." Those who seem to "make it" in the art world appear to be those who are extremely sensitive and seem to have a very difficult time with external stimuli. I think they are able to perceive a great deal more that most people do. They hear more, feel more and see more and this can be very hard for them to process in a healthy way.

I do totally agree with this: "5. Change the way someone else looks at something." This is part of the "genius" of a genius and of innovation.

You mention "linear." Linear thinking as opposed to what?

You said: "3. They are able to modulate neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine in their frontal lobe." I have no idea what you are saying here. No one really knows how neurotransmitters are "modulated." No one really has a clear idea how any of the chemicals in the brain work in a way that you can be very scientific about it or that you could use to credit to creativity. Most brain research involving art has been discounted in one way or the other.

You said: "So a good creative person should be able to discard these substandard ideas." Hmmmm.....the problem with this is WHO decides what is substandard? Many ideas must be explored to develop a working piece of art. Again, art is very subjective. I mentioned about 5 artists who were considered by many in history to be genius's and those were all dismissed as "substandard" by some here. Often, artists work with many many fragments of ideas before they come up with something that they can present to the public. But, to say that those ideas that came up with the main idea are "substandard" I would say that this is making a false assumption. The "final product" is often something that appears like "magic" but was probably many ideas that were explored and then developed.

For example (sorry) a few here have trashed Picasso and some of his work. Many of us have seen almost the entire body of work that Picasso created and some of it has been called "trash," but some of that "trash" we observe very carefully because in it are seen the seeds of what created some of his final great works. The same as Leonardo Da Vinci.

So, in conclusion (for now) I think the title of this article would be better put, "A Potential Scientific Explanation of Creativity."

Can you make your brain work more?
Yes (says a neuro-scientist on scientific American)! Though perhaps not how you might imagine. You can't put more of your brain to work. Your whole brain is working all the time, even when you think you're just being lazy. What you can do is make it work more productively.

There are two proved strategies to make your neural systems more efficient. The first strategy is to focus, which is hard to do. It is quite difficult to force your brain to stay on task and to shut off extraneous thoughts. Yet by concentrating, your brain can muster the neural tools it needs to tackle a complex problem. In fact, intense focus may be one reason why so-called savants become so extraordinary at performing extensive calculations or remembering a slew of facts.

The second approach is optimization. The human brain is far from an ideal "thinking machine." Our mental processes are slow, and the accuracy of our memory is far from perfect. Our intrinsic limitations are compounded by the simple mental blunders we make; these unhelpful tendencies, however, are correctable. For instance, you can become a better problem solver by looking beyond your personal biases and blind spots to consider alternative solutions. The more you learn to recognize and seek a variety of answers, the better your brain will be at finding optimal solutions.

I know what happens if you over work your brain. This is my experience:

There are several drawbacks of multi-tasking. You will be surprised to hear this. I cannot count a bundle of hundred notes properly! I go to shops, buy things, pay  for the things I buy and forget to take change and keep losing money. I keep forgetting several things, including the names of people, places, and faces! I always keep drifting from one field to another mixing up things. I keep making silly mistakes even while performing ordinary tasks ( they don't count much in the bigger picture so I am not bothered). I am a bit slow in my reactions because I don't observe and notice my surroundings well . That is why I don't drive on the chaotic roads here. That is the price you pay for over burdening your brain. Not a very rosy picture.

Yes, I will explain to you what this is all about. I tried to make it as simple as possible because I know people outside of scientific community finds it difficult if I use difficult language of pure science. "Trinity" means the brain, the mind & the soul. When all the three work together & in Harmony then creative marvels are possible.
Intellectuals & experts are supposed to have tremendous knowledge & therefore they can judge things to some extent taking a few parameters into consideration. In science this is possible because you can prove things beyond doubt. In the case of art this can be only perception of a person & therefore cannot be 100% accurate.
I am glad you accepted you need assistance in understanding this & didn't argue without understanding it fully.
That is the right way to go & learn things. You have to understand fully something before expressing your opinion on it.
Krishna

Marcelino Ferreiro Paz said:
I want to say that we are trying to help each other, so , it`s need to keep enough amount of patiente. Let`s cool down a bit.
"A standard measure is difficult to develop because most of the measures of creativity are dependent on the personal judgement of the tester and cannot be proved beyond doubts" "Intellectuals & experts decide what " substandard" is - not you & me."

My question is:Are those intelectuals and experts reached those points, where thet have an answer for any behavour?

Me , as an artist, never think whether is coming from the left , the front or the back, don`t even care whether comes from inside. Never mind where comes from, but where is going to!, Scientist study facts, and explain them, which makes me think that both, arts & science run paralel, and they can only get in touch , incase assistance is needed, because of mental disorders,or else.
Most of my statements are much more of a question
than anything else, because I know very little, that , I know.
Thanks everybody. PAZ
Yes, I too feel this "grip". Infact I am thinking of adding a discussion on it when you said it. Have you read my mind or what? Anyway I am going to add this discussion where members here can describe their creative inspirations & how they give shapes to them to bring them before the world.

Minnie W. Shuler said:
Some people seem to have more visual energy, can handle hundreds of abstract thoughts and reduce them down to something impressive. Ninon, your description of the creative process is great. Somethings must be rejected so that the few (good or bad) can come together. The ability to manipulation of images in the brain, imagine combinations, transormations, turn, flip and slide images in an imaginary composition is a skill that aids creativity. I do not know that the process itself can be called creativity. Most intelligent persons find it hard to decide because they do think of so many choices, a definite hinderence unless you are strong enough to reject things. Then there's always those ideas that just pop into your mind's slate. Where do they come from? I'm sure that you see them from time to time don't you? Some are very beautiful, like nothing I've ever seen before. Drawing or painting one of them can make you feel so helpless, even with excellent skills built up. Sometimes they work out, much like the sculptor that finds a piece of marble that just shouts out an idea to them. When your intellect is really engrossed in something, not much else interferes until you get it down or done. It can occupy every inch of your consciousness, I don't know about outside stimuli but some of the inside ones are very demanding. You may find you cannot eat or sleep and can't remember to do other things, sometimes even do not eat for many hours when an idea has you in its grip. This process is griping...even if the talent is yet a little raw. I'm convinced that over a process of time and practice the talent to bring the art from inside of you improves and you succeed. I think that's true of many people, not just the one's whose talents touch our souls. Why is it that when we hear a new singer and their voice is vibrant, robust and wonderful we swoon at their talent and elevate them to a state of greatness; but when we find an artist whose talent is spent in traditional forms of art (or in modern forms) and they are really good at it - we cannot elevate them to a state of greatness because we think they are not creative enough because their subject has been done a thousand times? But not by them. Would the scientifically described process of creativity not be fully present in them because we do not like the style of art they have chosen to create?
As the creative part of human brain is also associated with emotional part, creativity & mental disorders often go hand in hand. Scientists tried to analyse & understand what makes a creative person what he is. They came up with these answers when they studied creative people. These studies were conducted to "understand" & not to "mark" creative people! Science doesn't believe in creating negative ideas in people.
Yes, only an artist who created a work of art really knows all about his work. It is difficult for others to understand properly. That is why it is important to give descriptions. I usually explain things because my work based on science is difficult to understand.

Denis Art said:
I should like to add...a creative can also be...a manic depressive...an isolationist...an egocentric excessive...an obsession behavioural nuisance...a bore...etc etc..My point is..a creative is not special and should not be predetermined as a 'different' human somehow seperated from the rest of humanity, one who documents the various activities and environmental changes of nature etc..The problem in this way of thinking (sic: A Creative is...) is that it 'promotes' artists to belive in some ordained rule that makes them special. And this effects the art in a negative way and encourages other to 'judge' other work, when the only judge should be the person who creates the art in the first place and their own artistic itegrity on why they are creating in the first place.
Insightful and interesting write.

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