Posted in Photography, Psychology, Writing

Could Brain Damage Cause Brilliance?

The New York Times features an article about using cognitive brain manipulation to explore mental disabilities such as autism. This article leads to future possibilities that could have a huge impact on how mental disorders are studied. This article begins by the author discovering new skills, such as impressive drawing, through the application of electrodes of certain brain regions. The electrode experiment led to further investigation into the ability to manipulate human cognition past their mental capacity and provide insight into how the human brain functions. One example of this type of manipulation of brain areas is the research into autism.

Allen Snyder developed a theory while studying autism called the Savant theory. Snyder theorizes that a small number of people with autism can perform super specialized mental acts. These acts can include learning new languages without any formal training or impressive drawing skill.

The unlimited mental capacity within people with autism leads to the larger question of the neurological impairment that causes autism. Could neurological impairment be the cause of such genius-like abilities? With this line of questioning, I wonder if higher brain capacity is caused by lack of brainpower.

An analogy that I think relays this thinking is having all your eggs in one basket. By having more brain area impairment, more time and neurons are applied to fewer brain areas as compared to multiple brain regions. The experiment to investigate this savant theory was tested by the manipulation of electrodes to shut down parts of the brain. This type of testing can also give people with normal functioning brains gives a glimpse into the reality that people with mental disabilities deal with daily.

By manipulating certain brain areas, changing the way people perform and think can provide more intense and scientific research into what causes mental disabilities.  It could also change the way we think in unexpected ways

Not only can we determine the underlying cause of mental disorders, it but can also assist in the treatment of mental disorders. This treatment and cause for mental disorders can be achieved by stimulating other areas of the brain to dispel syndromes and side effects of mental disorders by using a normal functioning brain to create autistic syndromes.

In summary, not only can brain manipulation help with treatment and prevention, it can also assist with therapy. This technique could be used as a therapy where people can learn what is it like to have a mental disability. By gaining a new perspective and appreciation for people who deal with daily mental difficulties.

This week’s featured photo is of graduation shoes, which is symbolic of this blog post, by allowing people to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. whether this is through shoes or brain manipulation.

Posted in Psychology, Writing

Philosophical Take on Creativity:

So this is my first blog post for my writing bootcamp. Enjoy!

Creativity is difficult to define. I believe that creativity is a mindset, but there are different perspectives on the influences of creativity. This blog post focuses on Julie Burstein’s view of creativity and how to enhance it.

In Julie Burstein’s Ted talk, she discusses how creativity is enhanced from experiences, challenges, limits and loss. She begins with a creative process metaphor.

Creativity comes from failures and stresses that occur from letting go of control illustrated by Raku. Raku is a Japanese style of pottery used in tea ceremonies, which involves playing with clay, temperature, and fire resulting in cherished cracks. The example of Raku is thought-provoking by providing a decent metaphorical example of creativity and control. Creativity involves letting go of control and letting stress and imperfections occur resulting in something beautiful.

Burstein’s first lesson is that creativity comes from everyday experiences. It states that creativity involves being open to new experiences and having the ability to see the unique from the everyday. By being open to new experiences often bring a different perspective and offers new inspirations for further creativity. Being open to seeing uniqueness, leads to the second and third lessons that are in creativity, which is challenges and limits.

With creativity and life, challenges arise by pushing the limits. You must be able to prevail to succeed. Often, limits are created by mental and physical disabilities which are viewed as a setback, but these challenges can help push the limits leading to something unique. The idea of challenges and limits to provoke creativity has merit but lacks luster. Burstein never mentioned or explicitly implies the idea of motivation. With motivation, it offers the intrinsic drive that allows people to push their limits.  Motivation does connect with challenges and limits, but I believe that Burstein’s idea of challenges and limits are based more on the person, and less about the creativity task. The idea of pushing limits and exceeding challenges does carry a hopeful thought that can be a great adversary by embracing your differences. The idea of embracing differences is shown by the example of a Pulitzer prize winner who has dyslexia.

The fourth lesson is that creativity can come from loss. An example of creativity from a loss would be the photography of Joel Meyerowitz. Meyerowitz tried to capture the beauty of the rubble, destruction, and sadness of 9/11 in New York City. Creativity from loss can be because of inspiration, or as a form of therapy to deal with the loss.

Burstein ends her lecture with another metaphor of Japanese pottery called Kintsugi. Kintsugi is a type of pottery where any damage is repaired with gold lacquer making a more beautiful and unique piece. Kintsugi is symbolic of experiences, challenges, limits and loss. It helps tell a story of creation and destruction that assist in creating something new. This notion of loss leads to the same notion of motivation and brings to light the idea of inspiration, which is a subjective aspect of creativity. Through loss, people reframe the situation, creating a different viewpoint that can lead a creative idea. This idea of loss to enhance creativity is just one example of how motivation plays into creativity.

Burstein’s view on creativity is philosophical, subjective and hopeful at times, it appears to only be skimming the surface of creativity.

 

References:

Burstein, J. (2017). 4 lessons in creativityTed.com. Retrieved 26 April 2017, from https://www.ted.com/talks/julie_burstein_4_lessons_in_creativity#t-1020910

Posted in Photography, Psychology

Warning: People Under Creative Influence.

This is a followup blog to my first blog on creativity.

What role does creative instruction have in creativity? Everyone says that creativity is increased by constraints, but nobody has questioned how creative instruction affects creativity.  Finding out how creative instruction affects creativity, could affect educators, businesses and other professionals investigating creativity and provide a different perspective when applying such constraints as self-imposed, situational and material constraints.

How is creativity defined? Depending on what context creativity is being discussed, determined how it is defined. When talking about creativity from an artistic perspective, creativity is defined as a trait or talent, that only the elite portray. from a psychological perspective, creativity is a skill that one must develop, but still portraying the idea that only some can develop such a skill. From a scientific perspective, creativity is a type of thinking or intelligence, which is referred to as divergent thinking. With this divergent thinking, it is still emphasizing that to think divergently, but people portray different type of thinking, where some are more divergent thinkers and others are more convergent thinkers. Excluding the idea that everyone can think creativity, leads again to the notion that creativity, whether it is defined as a trait, skill or intelligence, it still leads to the idea that creativity is only for those with such an elite ability as creativity. I think creativity is defined as a type of mindset. By labeling a task creative, it allows the participant to believe that they must think outside the box, or in a unique way, resulting in a more creative outcome.

Constraints are defined as a barrier that restricts, or blocks something or someone towards a goal. Constraints affect one’s behaviour, or thinking when trying to strike towards a goal or complete a task, which is seen negatively. But when talking about constraints in the context of creativity, constraints are discussed in more of a positive light. By applying constraints to creativity, it can limit ones thinking, allowing that individual to restructure the task at hand, or re-evaluate their thinking or ability to the task or goal, through limitations. There are different types of constraints that are often applied to creativity. The first is self-imposed constraints, this is where one applies their own constraints, as a w ay of self-control. Examples of self-imposed constraints are to apply a time limit or deadline. Limiting the use of materials that one can use, which can be in the form of limiting art materials when drawing or painting, and limiting the subject matter.  The second type of constraints is situational constraints, constraints applied are outside of the person’s control which forces that individual to restructure the task or redirect the goal accommodate the constraints. Examples of situational constraints are limited materials, limited time, or additional tasks to complete a goal. Both the self-imposed and situational constraints serve as the two main types of constraints, but there is another type of constraints that is arbitrary, but can still impose different behaviours or thinking when applied to task or goal. These constraints are known as arbitrary constraints. Examples of arbitrary constraints are personality type, or type of intelligence. where although these personality and intelligence are not visible or physical constraints, they still impose boundaries and limitations.

Creative instruction is a type of instruction that informs an individual to think a different or unique manner. By using keywords such as: creativity, make, build, or imagination. By applying creative instruction to a task, it is like applying an arbitrary constraint or label to the task at hand.

So with a different definition of creativity, being defined as a mindset, that means that creativity is no longer for the elite, but for everyone.

For this week’s featured photo, is of my cousin Sarah. She is not the most creative person, but by implying to do something wacky, or crazy, she gave me this face.

 

 

Posted in Photography, Psychology

Reflection Blog: What have I learned?

So with this being my last blog that I will be doing for my social cognition class. We are forced by Dr.Jesse martin to write a reflection blog instructing us to tell the world how great his class is. Just Kidding. But what have I learned in in class? Well a better question would be what haven’t I learned, but we’ll go with the first question anyways.

One of the first things that I have learned is that there is a huge difference between teaching and learning, to which it is not seen within the education system. What I mean by this is that teaching doesn’t have to be done by an experience man in a suit or tie, or even by Bill Nye the science Guy: Bill-Nye-4hTeaching can be done by the students.  Learning doesn’t have to be done in a conformed lecture hall where all the students sit facing forward and keep their head down while the teacher/instructor lectures. Learning can occur through discussion and blog posts that spark pure passion and interest because students can freely choose what interests them the most. Leaning doesn’t have to occur in a classroom.and it doesn’t have to occur under the structure of taking a course through a university at $500 per course.

This leads to the second thing that I have learned. which is that our education system has failed us, turning us all into robots where we crave structure and order. This is because we have spent 12 plus years being told to conform, which can stripped us of creative thinking. where we can’t think creativity without constraints.

The third thing that I have learned is that I unfortunately have low confidence and seek constant approval from others. Sad but true.

I think that with the help of this class, as well as the rest of my other classes this semester, I am finally experiencing my “Elle Woods Moment”. In the epic movie, legally blonde,  Elle woods, a blonde sorority queen is dumped by her boyfriend. She decides to follow him to Harvard law school to get him back.  Once there, learns she has more legal savvy  and skill than she ever imagined. where she goes from the school joke to graduating top in her class. That just like Elle woods, I thought that my ideas and thoughts were half-baked, and they and I had no value, that i was trying to be something that i not which is studying psychology. But this is not the case!  I have ideas, and skills that can get me places.

Things that I have learned that are class related are such things as: How social cognition can be applied to less relevant topics that can be unrelated to psychology. and example of this studying the psychology behind pop culture, color psychology, body language, the psychology of evil, and of course creativity. So if anybody wants to donate $300, to take the Psychology of evil by Dr. Jesse Martin, I can continue learning  and growing. With the help of this class, I have discovered that a blog is a wonderful way to get my ideas and thought about the world, out into the world, to which I can hopefully open a few people’s eyes to what is around us and how we are impacted by things such as pop culture.

With all of these life lessons  that have provoked warm and fuzzy feelings,  I have learned that I’m not just a student, but a scholar!

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So, with it being the end of an era (for this class). I would like to thank Jesse Martin for an amazing class. For those who read my blog outside of class assignments I hope you continue to read this blog, as I have a lot more to say and will continuing blogging.

For this week’s feature photo I decided that with summer just around the corner and with the few days that I have had I wanted to put up a photo that was happy. Enjoy!giphy