The Origins of Creativity

ISBN 13: 9780198507154

The Origins of Creativity

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9780198507154: The Origins of Creativity
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The exploration of creativity used to be confined to the domains of psychology and philosophy. This has changed greatly in recent years with the dramatic advances of modern neuroscience and our greatly improved understanding of higher brain function. This book examines the biology of the brain and creativity not only through psychology and philosophy but also with the input of art, science and neurobiology, for the first time bringing the discoveries of modern neurobiology to bear on the subject of creativity. It addresses four themes central to our understanding of creativity: the creative experience in art and science; the mind's perception of patterns; the biological basis of imagination; and the influence of the environment of creative powers.
In this fascinating and inter-disciplinary collection of essays painters and composers explore the creative processes in their arts, a mathematician points out that computer generated fractal images are often perceived as art and evoke emotional reactions, and modern neuroscience begins to explain the creator's experience and sees creative decision-making as a function that is inseparable from emotion. Not only are these essays fascinating within themselves, but they interact and collide in such a way that suddenly mathematics is bringing forth art and science becomes an argument for unexplainable emotions. Many questions and theories are explored in these pages - What is the Eureka experience, how do the brain and mind make creative decisions, and what is the role of emotion?
In the end The Origins of Creativity will explore with you the possibility of creativity being a genetically encoded product of the evolution of the brain, favored by natural selection, but influenced by the environment of each individual as it unifies traditional views on creativity with today's new sciences of the mind.

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About the Author:

Karl Pfenninger, Colorado University.

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"The contributions vary from personal reminiscences to summaries of a life's work. The very wide variety of approaches - experiences in art and science, the biological basis and brain mechanisms of creativity, emotion and reason, the role of the environment, perception of patterns - reflects the lack of an accepted paradigm for considering creativity. The book ends with an editorial synthesis and critique of the contributions. Perhaps this will make the reader question the notion of creativity." -- Richard Gregory, Nature, Vol 410, 26 Apr 2001


"This is a stimulating collection of effectively marshalled papers arising from a conference of distinguished contributors, including Nobel Prize winners."--School Science Review


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