Dr. Martin Lotze and his colleagues at the University of Greifswald in Germany reported on brain activity patterns observed during the creative process.
For the study, which appeared in the journal NeuroImage, the investigative team focused on both novice and experienced writers, and found that several brain regions work together during creative writing.
Moreover, different brain regions are involved in the process, depending on how much prior writing experience an individual has.
When brainstorming their stories, novice writers used the visual-processing area of the brain.
While writing their stories, they engaged the hippocampus memory center, perhaps reflecting their recall of facts for their narratives.
The area of the frontal lobe that holds multiple facts temporarily in mind also became active during their story writing.
By contrast, while brainstorming the experienced writers activated brain regions that control speech.
The results suggest that during the brainstorming process, experienced writers use an inner voice to narrate their stories while novices tend to see their stories visually in their mind’s eye.
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