Jonah Lehrer discusses how cognitive enhancers dampen creativity:
It makes perfect sense that such a cognitive trade-off would exist. Paying attention to a particular task - like churning out run-on sentences about a road trip, or cramming for an organic chemistry test, or crunching numbers - requires the brain to ignore all sorts of seemingly unrelated thoughts and stimuli bubbling up from below. (The unconscious brain is full of potential distractions.) However, the same thoughts that can be such annoying interruptions are also the engine of creativity, since they allow us to come up with new connections between previously unrelated ideas. (This might be why schizotypal subjects score higher on tests of creativity. They are less able to ignore those distracting thoughts, which largely arise from the right hemisphere.)
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.
2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan