Episode #1417

So You Think You're Creative?

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Psychologist E. Paul Torrance, creator of the Torrance Tests, with gifted children at the University of Georgia College of Education in the 1970s Psychologist E. Paul Torrance, creator of the Torrance Tests, with gifted children at the University of Georgia College of Education in the 1970s (Courtesy of the University of Georgia)

We're always talking about creativity, but what do we mean? Can we find creativity, can we measure it, can we encourage it? Kurt talks with professor and author Gary Marcus (Guitar Zero) about what science tells us about creativity. A researcher shoves jazz musicians into an fMRI machine and has them improvise; an intrepid reporter gets her creativity tested and scored; and a little girl introduces us to her imaginary friends (all of them).

(Originally aired: November 23, 2012)

How Creative Are You?

Psychologist E. Paul Torrance was nicknamed “the father of creativity.” In the 1940s he began researching creativity order to improve American education. In order to encourage creativity, we needed to define, measure, and analyze it. The Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking are still ...

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Gary Marcus: Defining Creativity

Kurt Andersen talks with Gary Marcus about what science knows, and doesn’t know, about creativity. Marcus is the director of New York University’s Center for Language and Music, and the author of Guitar Zero, a book about how the brain learns. Marcus is skeptical of tests that measure ...

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The Neuroscience of Jazz

Charles Limb is a professor of otolaryngology at Johns Hopkins Medicine who has a sideline in brain research; he’s also on the faculty at the Peabody Conservatory of Music. He wants to know what happens in our brains when we play piano. Simple: stick a musician in an fMRI machine ...

Video: "Your Brain on Improv"

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Gary Marcus: Enhancing Creativity

Kurt Andersen asks about the role of disinhibition — the brain loosening control of its output — as a component of creativity, noting alcohol and drug use among artists of all kinds. Marcus adds LSD to the list, for a brief but innovative era. But he describes current research ...

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Are Kids with Imaginary Friends More Creative?

Lots of kids have imaginary friends. Marjorie Taylor, a psychology professor at the University of Oregon, has been looking at imaginary friends and the children who have them. “They tend to be more social, less shy, and do better on tasks which require you to take the perspective ...

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Jaron Lanier: You Are Not A Network

Jaron Lanier is a pioneering computer scientist, a creator of virtual reality, a musician, and the author of You Are Not a Gadget, which takes a skeptical view of the role we have given technology in our lives. Lanier worries that it discourages originality and uniqueness in the generation ...

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James S. Catterall from Los Angeles, CA

Check out a new creativity assessment under national trial this year. The Next Generation Creativity Survey
Sponsored by a grant from the Walt Disney Company. Featured in a recent All Things Considered feature by Elizabeth Blair.
Centers for Research on Creativity, Los Angeles/London UK. www.croc-lab.org

Apr. 29 2013 01:28 PM

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