Coffee, Sexy Creativity, and a Green Mind
If you’re unfamiliar with Newsflux, let me fill you in real quick. There’s a lot of news in the brain world. More than any one person can cover. So I take all the most interesting articles I come across, along with awesome tips and resources, and bundle them up. Then, I deliver it right to you, so you can check out the articles, dig deeper, and give your brain a 1-up in the game of life.
The topics cover a wide variety of topics, so each time the links and resources will be different. Always something new, always something interesting, but always awesome.
In this article we find out just what types of creativity are sexy, how to drink your coffee, why your mind wants you to go green, and find out about the wrong type of motivation. So let’s get to it!
The best articles, research, technology and discoveries in brain news.
Where Creativity Comes From
Creativity is pretty important, whether it’s in art, music, business, or even science. But where does it come from?
I’m not talking about your muse, moody bouts of depression, or hallucinogenic drugs. I mean where does creativity actually happen in the brain.
A popular myth is that creativity comes from the right side of the brain. In reality, there are actually a number of brain areas involved in the creative process. It’s more of a network of regions that join together to produce the creative spark. Recently, scientists have found a new area of the brain that is an important player in this process.
How did the researchers happen upon this discovery? They had people play a game, of course. A little game called Pictionary.
In a unique experiment, the researchers measured brain activity while the participants drew pictures for action words like salute, snore, and vote. Then, after drawing the pictures, they had to rate how hard each picture was to draw. Finally, the pictures were rated on a 5 point scale of creativity by a separate set of people.
When this process was done, they looked at the results. For the hardest pictures rated by the drawers, the prefrontal cortex was most active. This area is used for higher level thinking and planning. So this news wasn’t a real surprise.
The finding that surprised researchers came when they looked at the pictures that were rated highest for creativity. For the most creative pictures, the researchers found a higher activity in the cerebellum. A region not thought to play any role in the creative process. So the more creative the pictures were, the less activation in the “thinking” part of the brain. This could mean that for some creative endeavors, the less you have to think about something, the more creative you might actually be.
The research adds an interesting piece to where and how creativity takes shape in our brain. This poses new questions for research and will make us rethink what we know about how the brain gives us those “Ah ha!” moments. And hopefully give us insights of how to get into the creative mood.
Creativity isn’t just a boon to innovation and imagination. It’s also pretty darn sexy. People go nuts for the moody artists and musicians. There’s just something mysterious about ’em.
Curious to find out which types of creativity are the sexiest (and least sexiest)? Recording music only comes in at number 3, surprisingly.
Tips, tricks, and hacks for getting the most out of your brain.
If you’re looking for a new way to spark some creativity, a little bit of time travel has been found to help. Researchers ran two different tests and asked people recall some fond memories to see if it had any effect on their creativity.
It seems when people get to feeling a little bit nostalgic and think about past events, it can help them to open up to new experiences in the present. In doing so, they seem to be able to create new ideas by making connections between separate concepts.
Going Green for Your Brain
No, we’re not talking recycling. We’re talking nature.
There have been quite a few psychological studies on how nature can relieve stress and help with our thought processes. It seems that nature has a pretty calming effect.
It can also do more than that. For one, it can help boost concentration in just as little as 40 seconds.
To Your (Brain) Health
Exercise is hands down one of the best things you can do for your brain. I feel like the majority of people are pretty unaware of how much good it can do for your mind. I’ve made it my mission to help get the message out there, so don’t be surprised if I bring it up a lot.
A recent article goes into one of the many benefits of how exercise can stave off cognitive decline.
The Wrong Type of Motivation
Working up that motivation to exercise is tough. I get it. When you think about exercise, your mind has the knee jerk response of telling you “Nope!”
Getting the right type of motivation goes a long way in helping you develop an exercise habit. So don’t fall for the wrong type of motivation of “fitspiration”. It’s usually pretty short lived, and can do the exact opposite of what you need.
Coffee is probably one of my favorite little brain boosters. I’d like to say I drink it for all the wonderful antioxidants….but I’d be lying.
All jokes aside, coffee is actually pretty healthy for you. But apparently, most of us coffee drinkers have been doing it wrong. Here’s how science tells you to drink your coffee (I’m still going to do it the good ol’ fashion way, though).
Finally, there’s a new article on TheBrainflux.
We all want to keep ourselves happy and healthy. And keeping your brain in top form is a big, and usually understated, part of your health. One of the big goals of TheBrainflux is identifying those activities which keep your brain young. And also give you the most for your time and money.
Meditation is one of those activities. A lot of people will scoff and immediately disregard meditation as something that is religious, new age, or just too hippy. It’s not. And it doesn’t have to be.
One thing is for certain, it’s caught the attention of scientists. And the evidence that is mouting is by and large very positive. This isn’t a new age hoax. It’s for real.
You’ll be sure to see a few articles on the benefits of meditation in the near future. For now, I focused on one of the most important categories of brain improvement. Your brain’s cognitive abilities.
Image: Hartwig HKD
If you liked the article, don’t be afraid to share! Everyone deserves a better brain. And if you have feedback on how to make Newsflux better, I’m all ears! Just leave me some feedback.