How does participating in the creative process effect our emotional health? PART 3

Hi everyone,  

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)

Etta (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)


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Original Post

Hi Etta!

I loved reading this, especially as a creative thinker myself. I think it's important for us to understand how we're thinking when we're creating, because we can help stimulate and even manipulate the way our brain is thinking throughout this process.

I found it interesting that both sides of the brain work together when one is being creative. I always thought that, like you said at the beginning of this round. I especially enjoyed learning about the different brain networks are working together to help us create this thing we call art. I find it very interesting that the default mode network (the resting network) is a part of the creative process, along with the executive and salience networks. For some reason, I like the idea of a brain network that is differentiating what needs to be sent to the executive network and what can be ignored. This makes me think of the thalamus in the brain, which sends nerve impulses to the right parts of the brain, but also allows people to filter out "white noise"- hearing people in a restaurant talk, but not listening to them. 

I think for further research you could look into how we can manipulate our brain to become more creative, using what you've learned about the different networks. 

Good luck, and great job!

Hey Etta!

Great job on your post! It was really interesting for me to read about the science behind being creative (which is a bit of an oxymoron when you think about it ). I had no idea that scientists have discovered that there is no part of the brain correlated to creativity - that was super fascinating for me to read about! If you are still interested to explore how the brain functions in relation to creativity, I would suggest comparing how the brain differs when one is physically creating something and when one is simply thinking of creative things and ideas - how do these two things affect the body?

Here are some sources that may be of use to you:


Great job and good luck!

Hi Etta! 

Great job on this round of research! It was pretty cool to acknowledge what goes on through the brain when you are being creative. Learning about the "Big Three" was also super interesting, because I was not aware that creativity derives from three brain networks. If you are willing to bring the topic of creativity into your next cycle, I suggest you could look into how creativity ties into different states of mind on drugs. I once saw this blog post of an artist who took different drugs and painted a canvas of himself each time, and at the end of his experiment, he had various perceptions of himself through his creativity. 

Here is a source that may help you: 

Good job Etta 

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