Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Book Review – Imagine – Part 1

So my friend, Rebecca, recommended this book called Imagine by Jonah Lehrer, basically about the science of creativity. I'm only on page 19, but I love it! So I thought I'd read it slowly and blog about what I find interesting along the way.

     In chapter 1, Bob Dylan's Brain, he talks about how people have ideas and then all of a sudden they can't think about what to do next... creativity has left the house. 

     Lehrer talks about how creative journeys 'begin with a problem' which usually moves on to a feeling of frustration and just not being able to find the answer, you hit that brick wall. And you quit. I'm pretty familiar with this process! However, what we usually don't hear about is how this 'process'  this 'act of being stumped–is an essential part of the creative process.' It's like you have to completely give up, quit looking for the answer. And then all of a sudden the answer shows up.

     I've experienced this almost on a daily basis. I'll be talking with a friend... oh, did you see that movie the other night, you know the one with, uh, what's his name?
And I can't remember 'what's his name' at all, and the harder I try to remember his name, the more my brain blocks the process. Now this has happened often enough, that I know what to do. I stop trying to remember his name and move on. Then maybe 10 minutes or an hour or 3 hours later, completely out of nowhere, his name appears in my brain. Completely out of nowhere, did I say that already? It's as if I had been going through a file cabinet in my brain and it finally came across the right file.

     Well, Chapter 1, Bob Dylan's Brain, explains this phenomenon. And he goes as far as to show how it works, by using people, puzzles, fMRI's and EEG's.

     It comes from a burst of gamma rays and the discovery of "'neural correlate of insight' a small fold of tissue, located on the surface of the right hemisphere just above the ear, which becomes unusually active in the seconds before the epiphany."

     And that brings us up to page 19! Please leave a comment if you've experienced anything like this.

From the book, Imagine–How Creativity Works, Jonah Lehrer 2012

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