Areas of the Brain Involved in the Creative Process

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My education & training was based on a holistic approach to medicine and I have instinctively carried that same philosophy over into my creative life.

It is very easy to focus solely on concept development or technique execution when trying to bolster creativity, but creativity is rarely fueled by or hindered by a single factor. Rather, multiple aspects that are constantly changing play a role in how we negotiate the creative process.

One of those ever-changing influences is, you guessed it, brain function.

Generally speaking, all creatives share the same brain structure. The anatomy of the brain doesn’t differ between a novice artist or a seasoned artist; just the same it doesn’t differ between a sculpture or a quilter. They both have a frontal lobe located in the exact same spot.

But how well that frontal lobe functions can differ. This may be due to genetics, meaning you are simply born with a better functioning/more efficient frontal lobe, or it may be due to outside factors such as age, disease, medications or even lifestyle choices.

Some factors can be controlled —- getting adequate sleep

Some factors can be modified —- changing medications

And some factors are beyond control —- natural disease progression

In order to better understand the relationship between the brain & the creative process, here’s a basic overview on:

areas of the brain involved in the creative process

 
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the frontal lobe - planning, problem solving, abstract thinking, analytical thinking, motor skills

the temporal lobe - memory, organization, emotion

the parietal lobe - sensory {especially visual}, orientation, object manipulation, language & math processing

the occipital lobe - eye movements, visual memory & recognition

the cerebellum - balance, coordination, voluntary movement

As mentioned previously, creativity involves multiples… multiple steps, multiple skill sets and, as you now see, multiple areas of the brain.

This means focusing on only one aspect doesn’t provide a full picture of the creative process…you truly need a holistic approach.

So what should you take away from this mini session?

Although the creative process remains constant across various art forms, the ability to negotiate that process varies greatly between creative individuals.

The more developed a brain is {knowledge & experience} and the less hindered it is {sleep deprivation, medications & disease}, the easier it becomes to move through the process.

Does this mean if you’re not highly educated or are young, just starting as an artist that you will struggle with the process?

No.

This is just ONE factor affecting the creative process, but it is the true starting point for us all.

Your physical & mental health directly impact the creative process. Whether you are seeking to build your creativity or restore your creativity, you must address your personal health, well-being & lifestyle choices in order to be successful in achieving whatever goal you set for yourself.




 

learn more about the creative process: