Our journey as a species of this planet has come a long way from flint stones to the high-end robots in the finest computer laboratories. Human mind or brain has been programmed to pursue its quest for novel ideas and innovation continuously, by the prime force to keep time rolling forward. Otherwise, who else would love to continue existing if everything around us remains unchanging?
Change is the only constant that keeps us on the move. And hence the fuel power for these changes, you call it innovation or creativity or anything else you want to, has become a major concern for the researchers to investigate and understand more about this complex cerebral process, so that too much of creativity can take us forward for ever.
And thus, there have been many studies and conclusions regarding this unknown process- let us name it creativity for our convenience from here. We get to see in the media very often –and that is ‘very’ in bold- that scientists have found the seat of creative power in the human brain. Even though these findings are frequent, none of them is sure about what really triggers creativity.
The findings include, that the right cerebral hemisphere is responsible for our thoughtful, creative actions and the left hemisphere for logical and analytic thinking.
This split brain research of right and left brain thinking won American neurobiologist Roger Wolcott Sperry along with his fellow researchers David Hunter Hubel and Torsten Nils Weisel a Nobel Prize in 1981.
As research evolved with our thoughts, our findings later concluded that both the hemispheres of the brain worked together in our thought process for our creative actions either logically or analytically. Thus the left-right brain theory has become obsolete yet its popularity hasn’t, among many of its enthusiasts.
Is creativity insanity?
Let us veer away from the science based investigation methodologies and think about creativity or generally about creative people and their sanity for the time being. Don’t they look crazy or insane? Several of the most creative scientists had suffered from some sort of mental illness, says history. Also, researchers have lately argued that it is not very much possible to rule out the role of madness in the process of creativity.
Mainly bipolar disorder is one illness, researchers have mostly related to creative or mad scientists. It is a condition in which extreme excitement and depression happens, that when such people come out of depression and move towards excitement, their brains become capable of delivering bouts of creative thoughts.
Sir Isaac Newton, Vincent Van Gogh, John Nash, Virginia Woolf, and Alan Edgar Poe are a few creative minds that displayed self destructive behavior, including Van Gogh, who once chopped off some portion of his ear-an incident that is contended a lot by historians that he didn’t but his friend Paul Gauguin- and had several mental break downs eventually leading to his suicide. This is just one case, whereas there are so many others who showed so much of creativity along with lunacy.
Anyhow, what is finally creativity?
Thus, it has become increasingly difficult to arrive at the pattern of how creativity works. But one thing is for sure, which science seems to be taking less seriously.
Science has always correlated creativity with a bulb in which the filament flashes when a million dollar idea strikes your mind. But all these mad artists and insane scientists didn’t achieve what they did in a second or over a defined time, like the filament flashing in a bulb. Perseverance is one of their behavior and they didn’t give up when they failed several times.
This may sound completely unscientific and the next question would be what made them persevere. This cannot be answered by taking an Electro EncephaloGram of a person by asking a few questions in a matter of minutes. The response you get in such experiments are more probably, conditioned.
The idea can be more clear by recalling Sir Albert Einsteins quote,
It’s not that I am so smart, Its just that I stay with problems longer
Thus creativity is a sense of responsibility, from its basic definition that says, it is a novel idea for the betterment of everyone.
It comes when you see or identify a problem and make sure you end up with a solution for a better tomorrow for everyone.