Tags: creativity | mental insight | mind health

Path to Creative Breakthrough

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Friday, 12 Jun 2015 03:44 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Many people think that the creative process occurs during brief moments of insight called “aha” moments. But those kinds of breakthroughs actually involve considerable preparation.

In “Scientific American Mind,” Nessa Victoria Bryce described the following stages of the creative process:


Exploration
Before we can arrive at an “out of the box” solution to a problem, we need to gather information and expand our knowledge of the topic. Often, that process requires broad research of what is already known.

Such intellectual inquiries help us understand previous solutions to problems so that we can begin to consider novel strategies.


Mental focus
The degree of prep time for the creative process varies depending on the project and a person’s capacity for focused attention.

Research has shown that people who spend considerable time immersed in study of a problem have a greater likelihood of coming up with creative solutions.


Incubation
After focusing attention, a span of time typically passes before a breakthrough idea emerges. During that time, it may be helpful to shift attention to another task.

Sometimes just getting a good night’s sleep is all that’s needed. Going for a run, meditating, or even watching television may also do the trick.

A new concept can come to you while taking a shower or feeding the dog or engaging in some other mundane activity. When attention is redirected, it allows the mind to rest and continue solving a problem subconsciously as new ideas percolate.


Insight
Many people report a feeling of elation during moments of insight, and neuroscientists have identified the brain regions activated when new ideas emerge.

Such “aha” moments occur during activity bursts in the brain’s right hemisphere, in a region under the temples that is known to assist in recognizing remote connections between words.

Other research has pinpointed activity in the brain’s frontal lobe in the anterior cingulate cortex, which is a region associated with cognitive control.


Follow-through
Although moments of insight are pleasurable, it is important to make sure that a new idea really works. Conversations with friends and colleagues can help put the insight in perspective and determine whether it makes sense or if it needs to be revised or even abandoned.

Most creative people are persistent. They don’t give up even when confronted with a little skepticism from others.

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Many people think that the creative process occurs during brief moments of insight called “aha” moments. But those kinds of breakthroughs actually involve considerable preparation.
creativity, mental insight, mind health
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2015-44-12
Friday, 12 Jun 2015 03:44 PM
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