Thursday, July 02, 2015

Paradox Drives Creativity in Nature, including Humans (Executive Function Version)

New research shows that people who are maximally creative exhibit both imagination and attention. While attention requires the use of the brain's executive function, imagination has been shown to be optimal in those with weak executive function. Given that the executive function actually restricts creativity in the form of imagination, as I discuss here, we seem to have a paradoxical situation where the executive function both represses and is required for creativity.

Yet, paradoxical situations are the very drivers of creativity in nature. The strange attractors of chaos and bios both attract and repel, simultaneously. The most creative groups are those that are involve both individualism and group-think simultaneously, and which have a strong core with a clear boundary and also interdisciplinary overlappers with other groups. The strongest, most creative economies are those that exhibit both cooperation and competition simultaneously. It is in the overcoming of paradoxical relations, while maintaining those paradoxical relations, that drives creative problem-solving at every level of reality.

As a result, we should not be surprised that human creativity is driven by a paradox -- that we simultaneously need a weak and a strong executive function to work. Human psychological and social complexity is driven by paradox, and increasing complexity results in ever-more paradoxes, driving ever-more complexity. Still, we should expect to find some basic paradoxes, such as this.
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