Networked Creativity : Madness and Mindfulness

brains!
brains! (Photo credit: cloois)

Creativity resists the control of conventional thinking.  At times it may appear as madness.  Places where conformity is the norm cause us to lose touch with the creative impulses within our brains, and subsequently innovation is lost.  Networked creativity frees us from the constraints of such places, unleashing the potential of our group brain.

These days creativity is thought to be a competitive asset, helping us to adapt and thrive.  To nurture creativity, we must kick aside those mental blocks that keep us comfortably numb and entice our brains to explore new territories.  We must open our minds to the vastness of social networks where anything is possible.

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Networked Creativity : Madness and Mindfulness

Inter-individual relationships

A search on the term led me to a paper stemming from the Neuro- and Bioinformatics field (gradschool.uni-luebeck.de¬†). ¬†The work of Thomas Martinetz and team utilized “mental models” of how our brains accurately predict changes in context of how we relate our intentions, emotions, and goals to others. ¬†I don’t see “empathy” mentioned, but it’s my thinking that empathy is the dynamic the researchers are noticing when the subject’s brain regions reveal a “high similarity in emotional experience” and a “similarity in activation patterns”. ¬†The researchers observed this using a MRI technique called ‚Äėpseudo hyperscanning’ on their subjects. ¬†The first subject was being video recorded while scanned and questioned and then later the second subject watched the video while under the impression it was live.

It appears that¬†Hebb’s rule¬†of “Neurons that fire together wire together” could also apply to asynchronous exchanges. ¬†This has me questioning if a network of individuals could use¬†consumer brain‚Äďcomputer interfaces¬†both as a controller and monitor to gauge their collective ‘creative coherence’. ¬†We might also investigate if brain waves in any way correlate with the¬†Earth’s magnetic field. The notion hasn’t been fully explored, but Dr. Buryl Payne appears to have scratched the surface.

Inter-individual relationships

The brain runs its show incognito.

Interview of neuroscientist David Eagleman by NPR Books

Eagleman’s new book, Incognito, examines the unconscious part of our brains ‚ÄĒ the complex neural networks that are constantly fighting one another and influencing how we act, the things we’re attracted to, and the thoughts that we have.

Eagleman refers to consciousness as “a tiny stowaway on a transatlantic steamship, taking credit for the journey without acknowledging the massive engineering underfoot.” ¬†His book investigates this fact and its implications in decision making. ¬† He explains how the mind does¬†enormous amount of work to reach the moment when you can gleefully say, “I just thought of something!” ¬†He emphasizes how we often take credit for our ideas without considering the ‚Äúthe vast, hidden machinery behind the scenes.‚ÄĚ

When an idea is served up from behind the scenes, your neural circuitry has been working on it for hours or days or years, consolidating information and trying out new combinations.

The key takeaway is that “the brain runs its show incognito.”

Highlights via Amazon

  • Consciousness developed because it was advantageous, but advantageous only in limited amounts.
  • Instead of reality being passively recorded by the brain, it is actively constructed by it.
  • A typical neuron makes about ten thousand connections to neighboring neurons. Given the billions of neurons, this means there are as many connections in a single cubic centimeter of brain tissue as there are stars in the Milky Way galaxy.
  • The brain generally does not need to know most things; it merely knows how to go out and retrieve the data. It computes on a need-to-know basis.
  • illusion-of-truth effect: you are more likely to believe that a statement is true if you have heard it before‚ÄĒwhether or not it is actually true.
The brain runs its show incognito.