SCI-ART LAB

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

When an idea pops into your head, it feels so miraculous and mysterious that for centuries people attributed such epiphanies to the gods. In Imagine: How Creativity Works, Jonah Lehrer examines the science behind inspiration, looking inside the brain to find out what is happening when we're visited by the muses.

For Mr. Lehrer – a bestselling science writer – the book is a continuation of a long-term project to bridge the gap between science and art. In his first book, Proust Was a Neuroscientist, Mr. Lehrer passionately argued that, even in this age of astounding science, we still need the truths and mysteries of art. “When we venture beyond the edge of our knowledge, all we have is art,” he wrote. What was missing was a new culture that could connect those two increasingly distant worlds, finding a way to “freely transplant knowledge between the sciences and the humanities.”

With a degree in neuroscience from Columbia and a master's in 20th-century literature and philosophy from Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar, Mr. Lehrer is well equipped to help create that culture. In his books as well as his articles for The New Yorker, Wired, and others, he has written about neuroscience and Walt Whitman with the same enthusiasm and panache. In Imagine, his third book, Mr. Lehrer studies scientific research, visits Pixar studios, talks to Yo-Yo Ma, and analyzes successful Broadway musical teams, all in order to try to answer the question: Where do creative ideas come from?

Read an interview with him here:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/books/how-to-grab-inspirat...

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