The Creative Mind is a Technicolor Contradiction

What is going on in our brains when we are in our creative mode? Besides being in a flow state, what parts of the brain are we calling on to help us imagine and create? There are three major networks in use when creating: the default mode network (also known as the Imagination Network), the executive attention network, and the salience network. The default mode network is the part of the brain responsible for our “virtual reality” — when we daydream or imagine alternative scenarios of the past and possibilities of the future; the movies in our minds. The executive attention network comes into play when you’re hyper-focused. It’s best at problem-solving and concentrating. The salience network filters internal and external events and decides what’s important and what can best solve a task.

When these forces are combined, we are free-associating with the imagination network, focusing that imagination with the executive attention network, and both determining what is a good idea and staying with it using the salience network. If we are full of contradictions, going from focused to daydreaming, introspective to outwardly aware, weaving through dark and light, perhaps it is because our brains are particularly good at switching from one network to another.

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Read also: The Real Neuroscience of Creativity

Creative people’s brains really do work differently

About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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