The Creative Brain: The Neuroscience of Creativity

Presented by: Dr. Robert Bilder, Tennenbaum Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology, UCLA's Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior
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Creativity and innovation are now seen as high priorities in virtually every human endeavor, spanning academic, business, and artistic domains.  Some say we have left behind the “information age” and entered the “era of creativity,” in which our role as educators is to define and teach students how best to maximize their uniquely human creative potential.  This webinar focused on the neuroscience of creativity, delving into these pressing issues in both neuroscience and education.  Dr. Robert Bilder, Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior, presented emerging knowledge about the brain mechanisms thought to underlie creative cognition, including: freedom of generation; inhibitory mechanisms (freedom from inhibition, and inhibition of habits); working memory; and emotional (visceral-autonomic) integration.  Examples from basic scientific studies of humans, mice, and birds were discussed.  Dr. Bilder shared methods thought to enhance creativity, examined how these align with understanding of brain mechanisms, and then discussed how knowledge of brain mechanisms may inform creativity-enhancing practices.  He also explored the implications of this research for educational practices, specifically how to balance the needs for mastery of content domains through practice, with the needs for open exploration, unstructured problem solving, and play.