The Creative Brain

When a new idea pops into your head, the sense of uniqueness that makes the experience so special has a direct correlate in the cells of your brain: a brand-new assemblage of neurons has come together to make the thought possible. Of course, everything that happens in your brain is, technically speaking, a network. Remembering to wash your hand involves a network of neurons firing in some kind of orderly fashion. But that doesn’t make it an epiphany. It turns out that good ideas have certain signature patterns in the networks that make them. The creating brain behaves differently from the brain that is performing a repetitive task. The neurons communicate in different ways. The networks within the brain take on distinct shapes.