Creative States: A Cognitive Neuroscience Approach to Understanding and Improving Creativity in Design
Studying Visual and Spatial Reasoning for Design Creativity
The aim of the present paper is to discuss recent evidence from cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience that bear on the cognitive and neural processes underlying creative production. The paper will review factors that may obstruct idea generation in creative design and will discuss instructional approaches with the potential to support the resolution of such obstacles. Specifically, the issues of fixation to pictorial examples, as well as functional fixedness in object use during
... ve problem solving, will be addressed. Furthermore, the paper will examine the hypothesis that creative generation might benefit from a tradeoff in neural activity between anterior and posterior brain regions. Within this context, evidence from cognitive neuroscience that points to distinct brain areas implicated in noncreative and creative tasks will be presented. The paper will conclude by considering creativity as the ability for prospective thinking and perspective taking and the implications of such a definition for creative design. Introduction: Creativity as a topic of scientific inquiry In The Principles of Psychology William James argued, "Genius... means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way" (1890, The Principles of Psychology, vol. 2, p. 110). Since then, the topic of creative innovation-of breaking away from established ways of thinking to generate something new-has been of interest for generations of psychologists and educators. However, despite its high societal value, the scientific study of creativity has been far from the forefront of psychological research, largely due to the difficulties associated with the definition and criteria for creativity and the theoretical and methodological shortcomings of early attempts to study creative production in the laboratory .