Tuesday, April 8, 2008

What we can learn about creativity from those who suffer from FTD

Today's Health section of the New York Times explored the case of Dr. Anne Adams. She had a rare brain disease known as FTD, frontotemporal dementia. The frontal cortex of her brain, which controls reasoning and planning, began to deteriorate while her right posterior brain, the part that controls creativity, blossomed. Her art, like that pictured at the top of this blog post, grew in complexity.

Just as someone who is blind develops a more keen sense of hearing, Dr. Adams's creativity grew at the expense of her reasoning. An extreme case, the more Dr. Adams let go of her rational mind, the stronger her creative senses became. Eventually FTD overcame Dr. Adams, though the experience of her last few years has much to teach us about the artistic capabilities that lie dormant in all of our minds.

What if we could put reason aside, temporarily? What if we could silence our inner critic, what if we could put aside judgements and inhibitions, and just pick up a guitar, a paintbrush, a pen?Create whatever it is that floats in and out of our minds, without trying to connect the dots. What creative possibilities do have within us that we, unconsciously, silence every day for the sake of reason? Dr. Adams provides a strong example of our potential.  

Read the original article at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/08/health/08brai.html?_r=1&nl=8hlth&emc=hltha1&oref=slogin

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