Ruminations on learning, on teaching, and on making sense of our wild individual neurocognitive variation

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Creativity in the Brain

Well, I admit defeat.  Up to this point, I've tried to keep my teaching/learning identity separate from my creative/musical self.

Then along came Charles Limb.

After watching this TED Talk (Jazz in the fMRI), I can no longer keep creativity out of my sessions, nor self-reflection out of this weekend's upcoming gig.

Favorite points:
"Most scientific studies of music...are very unmusical entirely" Ha! Couldn't agree more.

"[In the fMRI,] we have this combination of the [cortical] area thought to be involved in self-monitoring turning off and this area thought to be autobiographical or self-expressive turning on...In order to be creative, you need to have this dissociation within your frontal lobe"

I'm pretty sure this synchrony way of looking at brain function will answer a lot of the questions that traditional static models have left unanswered or even led us astray (like the apocryphal Grandmother Cell error)

One of my favorite metaphors of science is in the story of a man searching desperately in the pitch black night for his missing car keys under a streetlamp.  A woman approaches him and asks, "Where did you lose your keys?"  The man replies, "I don't know where I lost them, but I'm looking here under the light because that's where I can see."

Science's desperate search for the creativity in music is just nascent - under the blue light of an fMRI - but I'm encouraged.

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