SCI-ART LAB

Science, Art, Litt, Science based Art & Science Communication

Brain, age and creativity

Creative people use more of the right hemisphere of the brain which
handles daily life activities such as visualizing, painting, writing,
talking, reasoning, discovering, responding emotionally, imagining,
organizing, composing and creating. Creating requires thinking
flexibility and this can be cultivated. Being positive along with an
eagerness to learn and proper planning can contribute to creativity. We
have been equipped with brains that contain the required abilities and
we more or less, choose to use them or lose them.

The human brain is one of many marvelous creations. Every second, the
brain can receive about 100 million bits of information from the various
senses and the mind can handle them easily. There are two factors
involved; first, in the brain stem there is small network of nerves, the
size of a little finger. This is called the reticular formation. It
acts as a Traffic Control Centre by monitoring the millions of messages
coming, sifting out the trivial bits, and allowing the essential ones to
be passed through for attention by the cerebral cortex. This network
permits only a few hundred messages every second to enter the conscious
mind. Second, it pinpoints our attention to the waves that sweep the
brain 8 to 12 times per second. Theses waves cause a period of higher
sensitivity so that when the brain notes these stronger signals, it acts
accordingly. By means of these waves the brain scans itself and focuses
on the essentials.

The wonder starts in the womb, and the brain continues to grow, forming a
network that includes about 100 billion nerve cells called neurons.
Cells are separated by synapses and bridged by chemicals called
neurotransmitters. These chemical signals are received at one end of the
neuron and transmitted at the other end of the neuron by a nerve fiber
called axon. The intensity of a signal depends on frequency of impulses.
Experimental evidence believes that as we learn in early life the
better connections are formed and more of the chemical bridging, the
gaps between neurons, are released. Reinforcing learning strengthens the
connections and produces more neurons and pathways. "The deeper matters
are more easily perceived by mature people who through use have had
their perceptive powers trained." Research has revealed that unused
mental powers fade away. Thus the brain, like a muscle, is strengthened
by use and weakened by disuse.

By age 80, the brain will have lost an average of 7% of its neurons.
However, the brain compensates by increasing its crystalline
intelligence and its ability to solve problems by previously acquired
knowledge and solutions. Experience proves to be the best teacher and is
something aged people have more of than younger ones.

The more active one is while aging, the more their intelligence improves
and the brain stays fit to generate new connections. Older people may
suffer sometimes from "information overload" as a result of neuron loss
that affects their short-term memories. However, once new materials have
been learned, older people can remember as well as their younger
colleagues. Acquiring new information activates long-term memories. Says
one retiree who started his own company at the age of 65: "God has
given us certain talents and he gave them to us to use." A number of
well-known artists and business professionals have done their best work
after the age of 60. The pianist Vladimir Horowitz was not pleased with
his performance at the age of 78. He retired and started to work on his
performance at the age of 81 and made a triumphant return to the concert
stage. Georgia O'Keeffe took up pottery in her late eighties when her
eyesight became too weak for painting. At age 80, the Spanish painter
Goya drew a picture of a very old man with the inscription "I am still
learning." We all are still learning about, the wonder of creation, our
brains.

©Mona Youssef- Realist Fine artist
http://mona-gallery.com/news&articles/article17.php

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And MF Hussain is in his nineties & still paints actively!
Thank you, Mona, for adding this discussion.
My pleasure dear Krishna and it is good example you have given. Art can make us live longer when we look at it the right way. It seems that I am even getting younger:-)

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