Robinson: Beyond Logic

We have a better chance to understand how to become more creative if we have at least a vague idea of how the brain produces creative stuff. This is a topic that many have discussed. The most compelling treatment (in my view) is a TED talk by a brain researcher who had a stroke. She describes what happened to her brain when one part no longer functioned. It is worth a look

The thing to remember is that our linear thinking is produced by the frontal lobes acting in concert with the left hemisphere. Think of this as a serial computer. It is mechanical and rule bound. But when we need to go beyond linear thinking, we need to engage all of the other parts of the brain — especially the right hemisphere which is the pattern recognition part

The key idea — the right side of the brain does not understand time. That is why you cannot produce creativity on demand. It sort of just happens, the way your dreams do. The more you make a “request” of the right side and let it “do its thing”, the more likely you will find it useful.

How does it work? The best way to understand this is that the brain collects and stores all sorts of data beyond what we are aware of. The right side accesses this stuff when it is on a mission. In other words, it acts in concert with the other parts of the brain.

And you can get more creative if you learn how to make that concert work more smoothly.


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