Creativity and the Brain

Wlodzislaw Duch,
School of Computer Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore,
and Department of Informatics, Nicolaus Copernicus University,
Grudziadzka 5, 87-100 Torun, Poland.


Neurocognitive approach to higher cognitive functions that bridges the gap between psychological and neural level of description is introduced. Relevant facts about the brain, working memory and representation of symbols in the brain are summarized. Putative brain processes responsible for problem solving, intuition, skill learning and automatization are described. The role of non-dominant brain hemisphere in solving problems requiring insight is conjectured. Two factors seem to be essential for creativity: imagination constrained by experience, and filtering that selects most interesting solutions. Experiments with paired words association are analyzed in details and evidence for stochastic resonance effects is found. Brain activity in the process of invention of novel words is proposed as the simplest way to understand creativity using experimental and computational means. Perspectives on computational models of creativity are discussed.

Preprint for comments in PDF, 182 KB.
Reference: A Handbook of Creativity for Teachers. Ed. Ai-Girl Tan, Singapore: World Scientific Publishing 2007, pp. 507-530

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