The Genesis Project Episode Three

Grace had made another dinner appointment with Dr. Stone. This time she hoped to get a tutorial on the brain as it relates to creative development. In preparation, she had read some articles about the brain hoping to be somewhat intelligent in her questions.

She began: “I’ve always heard about left-brain, and right-brain people, but in the reading I’ve just done, that seems to be a myth. Is that the case?”

It is. Creativity actually uses both parts of the brain. In fact, it’s somewhat unique in that regard. Other functions like language or motion come from a specific region. Studies of creative people using fMRI brain scans show creativity involves brain activity across three brain networks.”

“The default network is one of those. That’s the part of the brain that is activated when your mind is wandering or you are daydreaming.”

“That’s really helpful”, said Grace. “Some of my more creative staff seem to be the least attentive in meetings. I’ve always considered that to be a negative trait. Am I wrong?”

“Not entirely. Another part of the brain that impacts creativity is called the executive central network. That’s the part of the brain that helps us make judgements and evaluations. You need people who have the ability to not only dream or imagine but also to evaluate and assess.”

“It seems like these two parts of the brain are at war with each other. Am I oversimplifying this?”

“No, you aren’t but let me tell you about the salience network. That’s the part of the brain that allows a person to switch back and forth between the two networks. I just described.”

“So does everyone have a salience network?”

“They do to some extent, but in highly creative people interactions between the default network and the executive central network are especially strong.”

“Fascinating, but can I use this to evaluate the creative thinking ability of people I hire?

“You can, we now have computer models that can predict creative ability from studies of people performing various tasks. But I don’t think that’s for you.”

“What do you mean?”

“In all of our discussions, I’ve been impressed by your ability to discover hidden talents in people you hire. Creativity can be developed and the brain is not static. Let’s discuss next time how you might nurture the creative talents of those you hire rather than look for so called creative geniuses.”

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“The works must be conceived with fire in the soul but executed with clinical coolness.” – Joan Miró (Author)

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