The Creative Brain/The Creative Mind

Zygon 35 (1):53-68 (2000)
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Abstract

In the past few decades, neuroscience research has greatly expanded our understanding of how the human brain functions. In particular, we have begun to explore the basis of emotions, intelligence, and creativity. These brain functions also have been applied to various aspects of behavior, thought, and experience. We have also begun to develop an understanding of how the brain and mind work during aesthetic and religious experiences. Studies on these topics have included neuropsychological tests, physiological measures, and brain imaging. These different techniques have enabled us to open up a window into the brain. It is by understanding the functioning of the creative brain that we begin to understand the concept of the creative mind. It is through the use of emotions and other higher cognitive functions that the brain and mind can create ideas, music, literature, and ultimately our entire repertoire of behaviors. How these different creative abilities are derived can also be traced to various parts of the brain and how they function. Modern neuroscience allows us to begin to understand the creative aspect of the brain and mind and perhaps can take us one step further toward understanding the most profound types of aesthetic and religious experiences.

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