The neurobiology of creativity has been addressed in the article “Creative Innovation:
Possible Brain Mechanisms.” The authors write that “creative innovation might require coactivation and communication between regions of the brain that ordinarily are not strongly connected.”
Highly creative people who excel at creative innovation tend to differ from others in three ways:
*they have a high level of specialized knowledge,
*they are capable of divergent thinking mediated by the frontal lobe.
*they are able to modulate neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine in their frontal lobe.
Thus, the frontal lobe appears to be the part of the cortex that is most important for creativity.
*This occurs when the neocortex has integrated with the other brain structures and streamlines thought. An advanced level of development.
This article also explored the links between creativity and sleep, mood and addiction disorders, and depression.
Alice Flaherty presented a three-factor model of the creative drive.
Drawing from evidence in brain imaging, drug studies and lesion analysis, she described the creative drive as resulting from an interaction of the frontal lobes, the temporal lobes, and dopamine from the limbic system.
*An Integrated brain, free of disassociative distractions.
The frontal lobes can be seen as responsible for idea generation, and the temporal lobes for idea editing and evaluation.
Abnormalities in the frontal lobe (such as depression or anxiety) generally decrease creativity, while abnormalities in the temporal lobe often increase creativity.
High activity in the temporal lobe typically inhibits activity in the frontal lobe, and vice versa. High dopamine levels increase general arousal and goal directed behaviors and reduce latent inhibition, and all three effects increase the drive to generate ideas.
*An overly active verbal mind inhibits creativity.
Working memory and the cerebellum
Speed of thought
Vandervert described how the brain’s frontal lobes and the cognitive functions of the cerebellum collaborate to produce creativity and innovation.
Vandervert’s explanation rests on considerable evidence that all processes of working memory (responsible for processing all thought) are adaptively modeled for increased efficiency by the cerebellum.
The cerebellum (consisting of 100 billion neurons, which is more than the entirety of the rest of the brain) is also widely known to adaptively model all bodily movement for efficiency.
The cerebellum’s adaptive models of working memory processing are then fed back to especially frontal lobe working memory control processes where creative and innovative thoughts arise.
Apparently, creative insight or the “aha” experience is then triggered in the temporal lobe, for expression of the idea, not for the thinking as verbalizations are not a function of creativity.
According to Vandervert,
the details of creative adaptation begin in “forward” cerebellar models which are anticipatory/exploratory controls for movement and thought.
These cerebellar processing and control architectures have been termed Hierarchical Modular Selection and Identification for Control (HMOSAIC).
hierarchically arranged levels of the cerebellar control architecture (HMOSAIC) develop as mental mulling in working memory is extended over time.
These new levels of the control architecture are fed forward to the frontal lobes.
Since the cerebellum adaptively models all movement and all levels of thought and emotion, Vandervert’s approach helps explain creativity and innovation in sports, art, music, the design of video games, technology, mathematics, the child prodigy, and thought in general.
Vandervert has argued that when a person is confronted with a challenging new situation, visual-spatial working memory and speech-related working memory are decomposed and re-composed (fractionated) by the cerebellum and then blended in the cerebral cortex in an attempt to deal with the new situation.
With repeated attempts to deal with challenging situations, the cerebro-cerebellar blending process continues to optimize the efficiency of how working memory deals with the situation or problem.
he has argued that this is the same process (only involving visual-spatial working memory and pre-language vocalization) that led to the evolution of language in humans.
Vandervert and Vandervert-Weathers have pointed out that this blending process, because it continuously optimizes efficiencies, constantly improves prototyping attempts toward the invention or innovation of new ideas, music, art, or technology.
Prototyping, they argue, not only produces new products, it trains the cerebro-cerebellar pathways involved to become more efficient at prototyping itself.
Vandervert and Vandervert-Weathers believe that this repetitive “mental prototyping” or mental rehearsal involving the cerebellum and the cerebral cortex explains the success of the self-driven, individualized patterning of repetitions initiated by the teaching methods of the Khan Academy.
When the brain is streamlined and the psyche is under the control of a strong inner-directed and highly confident individual, who has developed his/her abilities actively, the cerebellum becomes an automatic (unconscious) processor for intuitive processes based upon actively integrated knowledge, perceptual, emotional and cognitive development. This is an endpoint of much deliberate work by the individual.