It’s been a while since I posted, but for this post I will be focusing on what is happening in your brain when you are being creative.
There is no part of the brain related specifically to creativity. In the past many people thought that logical thinking uses the left side of your brain and creative and innovative thinking uses the right, but recently scientists have realized that might not always be true. New research has revealed that creative thinking can be determined by how regions of the brain that usually function separately can work together. (1,4)
Creative thinking comes from three brain networks, typically referred to as the “Big Three.” The “Big Three” includes the default mode network, the executive control network and the salience network. The default mode is what happens in your brain during a resting state. The executive control network keeps track of what is going on, manages the emotional parts of the brain, and directs attention decisions and choices. The salience network determines thing that would usually go unnoticed. During the creative process the “Big Three” work together, the default mode network generates ideas (brainstorming and daydreaming), the executive control network evaluates them and helps you focus on them, and the salience network identifies which ideas are passed to the executive control network and helps switch between the default and executive. (2,4)
Flow is also an important part of creativity. Flow is defined as an “optimal state of consciousness where we feel our best and perform our best.” Flow is when people become so involved in what they are doing and they are unaware of their surrounding and lose track of time. When they are creating, they are meeting challenges and their brain releases a burst of dopamine. They may not be aware that they are happy, but the dopamine is helping them progress further into the creative process. (3,5)