How Do Creative People Think
Creativity does not only make itself known as random ideas and thoughts that seem to come out of nowhere. Other forms of creative thinking include convergent and divergent thinking. In convergent thinking, you combine multiple, sometimes very different, pieces of information and find one solution/thing that links them. The creativity test best known for determining convergent thinking abilities is called the Remote Associates Test . During the test, you are given three words and asked to think of a word that is related to all three. For example, you would be given the words blue, cake, and cottage. Can you think of a word that links all of them? Was it cheeseas in blue cheese, cheese cake, and cottage cheese?
Divergent thinking, on the other hand, involves generating multiple different ideas or solutions from a single starting point. An example of a divergent thinking test is the Torrance Test of Creativity. This test asks you to do a number of tasks with both picture- and word-based problems. Across all of the tasks, you are asked to think of as many solutions as possible within a time limit. In one task, you may be shown a picture and asked to think of as many answers to the question how many uses can you come up with for this object?
- Figure 1 – Divergent thinking test.
- How many different ways could you use a cardboard box? Retrieved from: https://pixabay.com/p-152428/?no_redirect.
The Parietal And Temporal Lobes
We cant talk about the occipital lobe without giving a little credit to these two. While the occipital lobe carries most of the visual burden, its the parietal and temporal lobes that help us make sense of what were seeing.
The parietal lobe plays a big role in visuospatial cognition, our ability to recognize and adapt to the physical space around us. This includes abilities like depth perception, navigation and movement.
When you want to change the channel on TV, youre first using the occipital lobe to see the remote. But the parietal lobes visuospatial recognition is used to gauge how much distance is between you and the remote an important detail once you decide to reach for it.
The temporal lobe controls memory; it assigns meaning to the images we see. After the occipital lobe registers the image of the TV remote, structures in the temporal lobe subconsciously remind us that the remote is used to change the channel, that it needs to be pointed at the TV, and which button we need to press to get to the channel were seeking.
The frontal lobe is usually not considered to be directly involved with vision, but scientists dont think it should be left out completely. According to the Georgia Institute of Technology, new research actually suggests it might play a role in vision after all.
The Cell Structure Of The Brain
The brain is made up of two types of cells: neurons and glial cells, also known as neuroglia or glia. The neuron is responsible for sending and receiving nerve impulses or signals. Glial cells are non-neuronal cells that provide support and nutrition, maintain homeostasis, form myelin and facilitate signal transmission in the nervous system. In the human brain, glial cells outnumber neurons by about 50 to one. Glial cells are the most common cells found in primary brain tumors.
When a person is diagnosed with a brain tumor, a biopsy may be done, in which tissue is removed from the tumor for identification purposes by a pathologist. Pathologists identify the type of cells that are present in this brain tissue, and brain tumors are named based on this association. The type of brain tumor and cells involved impact patient prognosis and treatment.
Each Part Of The Brain Controls What
The brain is a remarkable organ and incredibly complex. The three main regions of the brain are the midbrain, hindbrain and forebrain, which is broken up into additional sections including the frontal lobe, occipital lobe and temporal lobe that control different parts of the body. All of these work together like a well-oiled machine to allow humans to function properly.
The cerebellum is located at the lower back part of the brain. This part of the brain controls equilibrium and balance and allows humans to move correctly. It coordinates the muscles and joins so they can work together.
The occipital lobe controls vision. It is located at the very back part of the brain and affects how humans judge everything visual, from how something moves to how colors register. Two signs that something is wrong in this area of the brain are if the person experiences hallucinations or perceives colors differently.
A part of the brain called the temporal lobe controls a very important part of a person: memories. In addition, this specific part of the brain controls language functions, sexual functions and personality. It also has an effect on how the person perceives verbal and non-verbal input.
What Part Of The Brain Controls Anger
Much like fear, anger is a response to threats or stressors in your environment. When youre in a situation that seems dangerous and you cant escape, youll likely respond with anger or aggression. You can think of the anger response and the fight as part of the fight-or-flight response.
Frustration, such as facing roadblocks while trying to achieve a goal, can also trigger the anger response.
Anger starts with the amygdala stimulating the hypothalamus, much like in the fear response. In addition, parts of the prefrontal cortex may also play a role in anger. People with damage to this area often have trouble controlling their emotions, especially anger and aggression.
Parts of the prefrontal cortex of the brain may also contribute to the regulation of an anger response. People with damage to this area of the brain sometimes
What Part Of The Brain Controls Happiness
Happiness refers to an overall state of well-being or satisfaction. When you feel happy, you generally have positive thoughts and feelings.
Imaging studies suggest that the happiness response originates partly in the limbic cortex. Another area called the precuneus also plays a role. The precuneus is involved in retrieving memories, maintaining your sense of self, and focusing your attention as you move about your environment.
A 2015 study found that people with larger gray matter volume in their right precuneus reported being happier. Experts think the precuneus processes certain information and converts it into feelings of happiness. For example, imagine youve spent a wonderful night out with someone you care about. Going forward, when you recall this experience and others like it, you may experience a feeling of happiness.
It may sound strange, but the beginnings of romantic love are associated with the stress response triggered by your hypothalamus. It makes more sense when you think about the nervous excitement or anxiety you feel while falling for someone.
As these feelings grow, the hypothalamus triggers release of other hormones, such as dopamine, oxytocin, and vasopressin.
Dopamine is associated with your bodys reward system. This helps make love a desirable feeling.
Vasopressin is similarly produced in your hypothalamus and released by your pituitary gland. Its also involved in social bonding with a partner.
Research Focus: Identifying The Unique Functions Of The Left And Right Hemispheres Using Split
We have seen that the left hemisphere of the brain primarily senses and controls the motor movements on the right side of the body, and vice versa. This fact provides an interesting way to study brain lateralization the idea that the left and the right hemispheres of the brain are specialized to perform different functions. Gazzaniga, Bogen, and Sperry studied a patient, known as W. J., who had undergone an operation to relieve severe seizures. In this surgery, the region that normally connects the two halves of the brain and supports communication between the hemispheres, known as the corpus callosum, is severed. As a result, the patient essentially becomes a person with two separate brains. Because the left and right hemispheres are separated, each hemisphere develops a mind of its own, with its own sensations, concepts, and motivations .
Although Gazzanigas research demonstrated that the brain is in fact lateralized, such that the two hemispheres specialize in different activities, this does not mean that when people behave in a certain way or perform a certain activity they are only using one hemisphere of their brains at a time. That would be drastically oversimplifying the concept of brain differences. We normally use both hemispheres at the same time, and the difference between the abilities of the two hemispheres is not absolute .
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The human brain is hugely interconnected but three major components can be identified: the cerebrum, the cerebellum and the brain stem.
The brainstem which includes the medulla, the pons and the midbrain, controls breathing, digestion, heart rate and other autonomic processes, as well as connecting the brain with the spinal cord and the rest of the body.
The cerebellum plays an important role in balance, motor control, but is also involved in some cognitive functions such as attention, language, emotional functions and in the processing of procedural memories.
The cerebrum , which makes up 75% of the brain by volume and 85% by weight, is divided by a large groove, known as the longitudinal fissure, into two distinct hemispheres. The left and right hemispheres are linked by a large bundle of nerve fibres called the corpus callosum, and also by other smaller connections called commissures.
Lobes of the cerebral cortexPicture from Wikipedia The Limbic System and Basal GangliaPicture from How Stuff Works
Some Key Neurotransmitters At Work
Neurotransmitters are chemicals that brain cells use to talk to each other. Some neurotransmitters make cells more active while others block or dampen a cell’s activity .
Acetylcholine is an excitatory neurotransmitter because it generally makes cells more excitable. It governs muscle contractions and causes glands to secrete hormones. Alzheimers disease, which initially affects memory formation, is associated with a shortage of acetylcholine.
Glutamate is a major excitatory neurotransmitter. Too much glutamate can kill or damage neurons and has been linked to disorders including Parkinson’s disease, stroke, seizures, and increased sensitivity to pain.
GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps control muscle activity and is an important part of the visual system. Drugs that increase GABA levels in the brain are used to treat epileptic seizures and tremors in patients with Huntingtons disease.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that constricts blood vessels and brings on sleep. It is also involved in temperature regulation. Low levels of serotonin may cause sleep problems and depression, while too much serotonin can lead to seizures.
Dopamine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter involved in mood and the control of complex movements. The loss of dopamine activity in some portions of the brain leads to the muscular rigidity of Parkinsons disease. Many medications used to treat behavioral disorders work by modifying the action of dopamine in the brain.
A Sorting Station: The Thalamus Mediates Sensory Data And Relays Signals To The Conscious Brain
The diencephalon is a region of the forebrain, connected to both the midbrain and the cerebrum. The thalamus forms most of the diencephalon. It consists of two symmetrical egg-shaped masses, with neurons that radiate out through the cerebral cortex. Sensory data floods into the thalamus from the brain stem, along with emotional, visceral, and other information from different areas of the brain. The thalamus relays these messages to the appropriate areas of the cerebral cortex. It determines which signals require conscious awareness, and which should be available for learning and memory.
What Happens In The Brain During Creative Thinking
So now that you know about three different types of creativity, insight, convergent thinking, and divergent thinking, you might think that the brain processes must be complicated. Previous research has demonstrated that several different thought processes in the brain, including processes called working memory, abstraction, planning, and cognitive flexibility, are all critical to creative thinking. This research has also shown that the ability to develop strategies is a key part of creativity . Neuroscientists , in their attempt to make a connection between creative thought processes and the parts of the brain that may process them, have defined creativity as requiring the mixing and remixing of mental representations to create novel ideas and ways of thinking If you look back to Steve Jobs quote, you will see that he describes creativity in a similar way. Combining and recombining mental representations is simply connecting things in the brain in the way that the brain stores information.
Exercises And Critical Thinking
What Part Of The Brain Controls Vision
The brain consists of four main segments called lobes. The frontal lobe up front, the parietal lobe on top, the temporal lobe on bottom and the occipital lobe pulling up the rear. All of our senses, thoughts and actions start in one of these lobes.
Most visual functions are controlled in the occipital lobe, a small section of the brain near the back of the skull. But processing eyesight is no simple task, so other parts of the brain have to pitch in too.
Parts Of The Brain And Cognitive Function
The brain is a complex organ that is responsible for cognitive function. How it does this is complicated, as there are many different layers to each part of the brain, each of which is responsible for performing certain functions. Here is a look, from big to small, on how the brain functions:
The Three Main Parts of the BrainThe brain is first divided into three main sections. These are the cerebrum, the cerebellum and the brain stem. Though some have simplified thought into belonging only to the cerebrum, this is not completely the case. The cerebellum is responsible for attention and language and the brainstem has to do with fight or flight emotional control. Both of these can play a major part in our ability to process ideas clearly and make new neural connections. The cerebrum is considered to be the main portion of the brain regulating thought, but this is further subdivided into more sections.
Neural PathwaysThere is a saying that neurons who fire together wire together. This has become an important part of cognitive therapy, as the importance of forcing grateful and positive thoughts can turn a negativethought process into a habitually positive one. If you can’t get past certain thoughts, countering them with logic each time they arrive will help weaken these habitual thoughts and feelings.
Related Psychology Terms
Other Key Parts Of The Brain
Ventricular System The brain is not a solid organ. Instead, there are fluid-filled cavities within the brain called ventricles. The ventricles provide nourishment to the brain. The ventricular system produces and processes cerebrospinal fluid, a clear, watery substance flowing around the brain to cushion and protect it.
Cranial NervesThe brain also contains 12 pairs of cranial nerves. Each is responsible for specific body functions.
- Olfactory nerve: Sense of smell
- Optic nerve: Vision
Brain Myths Of Creativity #2: Creativity And Intelligence Do Not Go Together
Similar to the myth that you can only be either left brained or right brained, some think that you can only be intelligent or creative. Intelligence is usually defined as the ability to obtain and use knowledge. While intelligence and creativity are somewhat related, they are not the same thing and people can be both creative and intelligent, or one or the other . Important factors that make people highly creative probably have something to do with personalitythings such as openness to new experiences.
Parts Of The Brain Involved In Speech
In recent decades, there has been an explosion of research into language processing in the brain. Its now generally accepted that the control of speech is part of a complex network in the brain.
The formation of speech requires many different processes, from putting thoughts into words, forming a comprehensible sentence, and then actually making the mouth move to make the correct sounds.
There are several areas of the brain known to play a role in speech:
How Do We Define Creativity
We all interact with, process, and produce creativity differently, which makes creating a universal definition of creativity very challenging. As Steve Jobs reminds us, even creative people have a hard time seeing the things they think and create as creative! The difficulty in recognizing and defining creativity might stem from the various forms of creative outlets . The difficulty may also be due to differences in how people think about the creative thinking processes . However, no matter how different our approaches in understanding creativity may be, forming a definition of creativity will help us to understand its various benefits, processes, and expressions.
Where Do Emotions Come From
The limbic system is a group of interconnected structures located deep within the brain. Its the part of the brain thats responsible for behavioral and emotional responses.
Scientists havent reached an agreement about the full list of structures that make up the limbic system, but the following structures are generally accepted as part of the group:
- Hypothalamus. In addition to controlling emotional responses, the hypothalamus is also involved in sexual responses, hormone release, and regulating body temperature.
- Hippocampus. The hippocampus helps preserve and retrieve memories. It also plays a role in how you understand the spatial dimensions of your environment.
- Amygdala. The amygdala helps coordinate responses to things in your environment, especially those that trigger an emotional response. This structure plays an important role in fear and anger.
- Limbic cortex. This part contains two structures, the cingulate gyrus and the parahippocampal gyrus. Together, they impact mood, motivation, and judgement.
Verbal Language And Mathematics
Related to both its verbal and symbolic abilities, the left hemisphere is capable of identifying groups of letters and interpreting them as words that, in turn, form groups of them and form meaningful sentences.
Thanks to this, it also plays an important role in speech, writing, mathematical problem solving, numbering and logic.
Other aspects in which this hemisphere is significantly involved are verbal memory, grammar, organization of syntax, phonetic discrimination, planning, decision-making, long-term memory
The Future Of Your Brain And Creativity
While creativity may be a fundamental human ability and pursuit, the study of the source of creativity in the brain has only just begun, so we still have a lot to learn. While scientists continue to learn more about creativity, one thing we already know is that being creative has a number of benefits . So even if we do not know exactly which mental processes or parts of the brain are involved with creativity, we can still suggest that you and your friends should go out and be creative, because it will help you and your brain.
Ventricles And Cerebrospinal Fluid
Deep in the brain are four open areas with passageways between them. They also open into the central spinal canal and the area beneath arachnoid layer of the meninges.
The ventricles manufacture cerebrospinal fluid, or CSF, a watery fluid that circulates in and around the ventricles and the spinal cord, and between the meninges. CSF surrounds and cushions the spinal cord and brain, washes out waste and impurities, and delivers nutrients.
How Downstairs Brain And The Upstairs Brain
Lets have another look at the emotional, downstairs brain and the rational, upstairs brain. The downstairs brain is the part of our brain that makes us act without thinking. It has to do this quickly for survival purposes if you are in a life threatening situation you dont have time to sit down and draw up a plan of action, you just need to act! Developmentally, this part of the brain is well developed at birth and forms more connections earlier than the upstairs brain because it is responsible for essential tasks such as making sure our needs are met, feeling strong emotions, using instinct to keep us safe, and managing bodily functions.
The upstairs, rational brain whilst structurally all there is much slower in its development of connections. This part of the brain is highly sophisticated and responsible for problem solving, rational thinking, logic, planning and decision making, organisation, and self-control. All of these things are learnt through repeated experiences. Keeping to the house analogy, the upstairs, rational brain is under major construction for the first few years of life. During adolescence, the upstairs brain gets a remodelling which takes several more years. So the upstairs brain is not fully mature until the mid-twenties!!!!
The National Institute Of Neurological Disorders And Stroke
Since its creation by Congress in 1950, the NINDS has grown to become the leading supporter of neurological research in the United States. Most research funded by the NINDS is conducted by scientists in public and private institutions such as universities, medical schools, and hospitals. Government scientists also conduct a wide array of neurological research in the more than 20 laboratories and branches of the NINDS itself. This research ranges from studies on the structure and function of single brain cells to tests of new diagnostic tools and treatments for those with neurological disorders.
For information on other neurological disorders or research programs funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, contact the Institute’s Brain Resources and Information Network at:
Office of Communications and Public LiaisonNational Institute of Neurological Disorders and StrokeNational Institutes of HealthBethesda, MD 20892
NINDS health-related material is provided for information purposes only and does not necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke or any other Federal agency. Advice on the treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient’s medical history.
The Parts Of The Brain That Effect Our Psychology Emotions And Behaviors
The brain is the most important and complex organ in our bodies. You dont have to be a brain specialist though to appreciate some of the basics about the brains role in emotions and behaviors in both ourselves and our children.
The brain is compartmentalised for our understanding but in reality all the parts work in complex, intertwined ways. The largest section of the brain and closest to the surface is the Cerebrum or Cortex. This is often broken down into lobes or sections of the brain: the frontal lobe, parietal lobe, temporal lobes, and occipital lobe. The frontal lobe is at the front of the head and is responsible for planning, organisation, logical thinking, reasoning, and managing emotions. This is the part you will hear about most regarding the expression and regulation of emotions and behaviors. It is also known as the higher brain, rational brain, or the upstairs brain.
Ok, now we are familiar with some of the major parts of the brain involved in behaviours and emotions we can look at how they interact with each other and influence behaviors through development, how we can help our kids understand what is happening, and what we can do to help our kids to better manage behaviors and emotions.