Monday, September 13, 2010
The Most Creative Brains are Slow
On studies of white matter integrity, the most creative subjects using tests of divergent thinking were the ones with the ones with the lowest white matter integrity (as assessed by fractional anisotropy) in the frontostriatal circuits.
For those of us who see highly creative children with school problems, this research comes as no great surprise. The classic picture is on the WISC-IV is very high verbal and perceptual reasoning and slow processing times (Coding and Symbol Search). These children often have passionate hobbies, rich fantasy lives and imagination, and poor classroom output compared to their intellectual potential.
If you're thinking, hey this seems familiar, you're right. This thinner prefrontal cortex pattern has also been seen in gifted kids (see The Blessings and Burdens of High IQ), ADHD, and Dyslexia.
The data are beginning to converge - is it possible that the emphasis on speed and work production in K-12 schooling runs completely counter to creativity development?
NYT: Charting Creativity
Creativity / Divergent Thinking and White Matter pdf