tDCS brain electrification can improve creativity, says study
tDCS Brain electrification….station: The mental locomotion taking your mind to creative destinations.
I’m not talking about electro-shock therapy from 60’s mental asylums. I’m talking about very mild, in fact weak, electrical currents gently zapping your brain into a more creative state.
Researchers from the UK’s Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and Goldsmiths University of London implemented a technique called ‘transcranial direct current stimulation’ (tDCS) in the study.
The 60 volunteers each had a weak electrical current applied to various points on their scalps.
Conditional to the current flow’s direction, the DLPFC (left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) would be either activated or suppressed.
Since the electrical current experienced is of a weak nature, Scientists ensured that it wouldn’t cause harm or unpleasant sensations.
The results are electrifying!
The study consisted of volunteers having to solve a series of puzzles aimed at testing their creative thinking skills.
Neuroscientists found that people become more creative when a key part of the frontal cortex is temporarily suppressed; they would solve lateral thinking puzzles better and were more prone to ‘think outside the box.’
Dr. Caroline Di Bernardi Luft explains why this is so:
“We solve problems by applying rules we learn from experience… the DLPFC plays a key role in automating this process. It works fine most of the time, but fails spectacularly when we encounter new problems which require a new style of thinking. Our past experience can indeed block our creativity. To break this mental fixation, we need to loosen up our learned rules.”
They found that volunteers with a “higher working memory demand” struggled to solve problems that required more of a “think outside of the box” mentality.
It’s in that brief electrical flash that your DLPFC can become suppressed enough for you to break previous mental assumptions and think more creatively thus solving certain problem sets.
These results are important because they reveal how to improve creativity and is a door-way to revealing more about how we can improve mental function as a whole, in a non-invasive way.
tDCS machines are far from being viable, but the future is looking bright, like sparks.