What are some of the biggest challenges of studying musical creativity from a neuroscience perspective?
It’s not just music—artistic creativity in general is one of the toughest topics to study because it’s an elusive thing. Creativity is made up of a very wide range of human activities that aren’t always so easy to connect together. By their very nature, art and creativity are expansive concepts with no real predictability. That means that it’s not really a natural fit to try to confine them to the constraints of a scientific experiment.
The other issue is that artists and scientists are very different kinds of people. For a scientist to try to design an experiment that feels natural to an artist while still maintaining scientific validity and control—well, that’s a very tenuous balance. It’s hard to design a study just right. You really need to work closely with artists to design something that will work.