Charles Limb is a surgeon who studies creativity. He used fMRI to study a musician’s brain when he was improvising. In other words, when the musician was creating something new. I found this interesting because it’s a very direct way to see if what happens in a person’s brain can open up some answers into how somebody creates.
Limb says, “…to be creative, you have to have a weird dissociation in your frontal lobe. One area turns on, and a big area shuts off, so that you’re not inhibited, so that you’re willing to make mistakes, so that you’re not constantly shutting down all these generative impulses.”
Unfortunately, the study doesn’t answer how to get to the point where you are able to create. But to me it seems to say that to be creative, you can’t get in your own way. I’m going to search out ways to do that. Or not do that, I suppose I should say.
In the meantime, check out Charles Limb’s presentation (16 minutes).