Thursday, March 29, 2012

Brain structures and cognitive processes that facilitate creativity and intelligence differ: research with public policy implications

Below is a note I shared with some colleagues in Singapore and a few others.

Here is the Complete title (abbreviated above). Brain structures and cognitive processes that facilitate creativity and intelligence differ: neuropsychological research with possible implications for Singapore

As some of you would know, one of my knowledge sources about unfamiliar fields of inquiry and practices is podcasts of the US National Public Radio weekly interview program “On Being.” This morning’s listening described the research of Neurosurgeon and Neuropsychologist Rex Jung on the cognitive processes of creativity and the brain structures involved

Consistent with mainstream academic literature on the subject, Jung defines the products of creativity as “ideas/artifacts that are “novel and useful within a social context.” The technical term for the neuropsychological structure/process that supports creativity is transient hypofrontality.

What I thought was consequential in Dr. Jung’s description of his research was a finding that the neuropsychological structures/processes that support intelligence differ from those that support creativity. Highly intelligent individuals may not be particularly creative. The intelligence of very creative individuals may not be outstanding. The rare quality of genius, incidentally, is defined as “the union of creativity and intelligence in a single individual.” According to Dr. Jung, genius has not yet been the focus of significant neuropsychological research.

As you know, I view Singapore as the “canary in the coal mine” when it comes to facing public policy challenges engendered by global-sale interdependence and the potential for manifestations (to use global modeling terminology) of “overshoot” and “collapse” My own system dynamics modeling research on Singapore’s long-term development and future viability is motivated by questions devolving from this view.

Singapore’s education system is unsurpassed in selecting and empowering intelligent students. When they have completed what may be finest formal education in the world, the best of these students are selected and elevated to high places. Whether creativity, too, is sufficiently privileged in these processes is a topic of discussion.

The research of Dr. Jung and his colleagues point to the fact that such discussions should continue.

Here is the link to the podcast that caught my attention:

Here are links to two professional papers, among many in the neuropsychological literature, that present scientific findings relating to the issues I have raised above.


Blogger John said...

This is a very beautiful and interesting research
The most educating one i have read today!

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