Big Think: Scott Barry Kaufman

Scott Barry Kaufman works at the Imagination Institute in the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania as the scientific director. There, he leads investigations into the measurement and development of intelligence, imagination, and creativity. He has written or edited several books including his most popular Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined.  His most recent is entitled Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind. He is also co-founder of The Creativity Post and host of The Psychology Podcast.  In addition, he writes the blog Beautiful Minds for Scientific American.

Left Brain and Right Brain Concept

In his Big Think video “The Science of Creativity: How Imagination and Intelligence Work Together in the Brain,” Kaufman says the concepts of left-brained and right-brained personalities are myths. He claims you can’t use one side of the brain without using the other, especially when being creative.

“Creativity requires both intelligence and imagination,” says Kaufman. “Creativity requires our ability to know what has come before so we can stand on the shoulder of giants. But it also requires the ability to have great foresight and vision to imagine the world the way that it could be.”

Kaufman argues that the brain is interwoven, with no committed left side or right side usage. He says creativity in particular involves the interaction of a lot of different brain networks.

“The reality is that creativity involves interaction of lots of different brain networks that rely on both the left side and the right side of the brain,” says Kaufman. And all brain network is…when you have lots of different parts of the brain that are communicating with each other to solve a certain task…”

Kaufman says that creativity draws on three brain networks specifically.  These networks are the Executive Attention Network, the Default Mode Network, and the Salience Brain Network.


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