Creativity and the Brain…

Creativity and the Brain...

Did you know that creative people share a few common traits:
1. they are able to function on very few hours of sleep
2. they focus on work intensely
3. they have a tendency to experience a wide range of emotions or so says Kay Redfield Jamison- a Professor in Psychiatry at John Hopkins. She also says that ironically these same traits of highly creative people are also documented in individuals with mood disorders.

What does it take for someone to be called creative?

It is suggested that “two factors seem to be essential for creativity: imagination
constrained by experience, and filtering that selects most interesting solutions.” as stated by Włodzisław Duch Department of Informatics,

So, does turning your bass over and plucking a note in a different part of the fingerboard constitute creativity?

What is creativity to you??

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What if Michelangelo Listened to Lady Gaga: Sculpting Your Brain with Music

What if Michelangelo Listened to Lady Gaga: Sculpting Your Brain with Music

How music effects your brain is a question we have pondered for a long time. My friend and colleague has spent years researching and developing programs just for each of us to create a stronger more efficient brain!!! Thank you Alex Doman for all your contributions to this growing field and writing this exciting blog just for us!

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Did music influence Michelangelo? If so, was it the sounding of a harmonic chord, the new musical aesthetic for the period? Did it contribute to the transformation of a block of Carrara marble into David, the masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture? What form would David have taken if sculpted in the 21st century, with such a broad range of music genres and styles? Lady Gaga anyone… These are the kinds of questions I cogitate in moments of quiet.
What profound influence music has on our physical, emotional, and intellectual development. Each of us is affected by sound’s physical properties; frequency, volume, timing, rhythm and melody. Sound has played a large role in shaping who we are and will become, including the music we were exposed to throughout our lives and choose to enjoy today.
Music is an effective mood regulator. If music feels really good the brain releases dopamine. Dopamine is a common neurotransmitter that is released in response to a rewarding activity such as eating food we enjoy, seeing a beautiful piece of art, and having sex. Research into music preferences shows the opposite is also true. Music we dislike causes stress, and in response the adrenal gland releases the stress hormone Cortisol which suppresses the immune system.
The brain changes associated with musical activity, through playing to and listening to music. As Michelangelo sculpted David, we too are sculptors, and music is our tool. Music sculpts our brains, promoting neuroplasticity, the brain’s naturally ability to change itself.
So what music should you select to sculpt your brain? Begin with music you enjoy, tunes that leave you feeling positive and which fit the activity you are engaged in.
• Need to relax? Choose soothing music with tempos below 60 beats per minute. Try different Classical, Smooth Jazz, and New Age music to begin.
• Time to focus? Instrumental music 50-90 bpm tends to work best. Baroque in particular, explore selections from Bach and Vivaldi.
• Time for high energy and productivity? Think upbeat, rhythm, tempos of 90 bpm and higher. Rock and Pop music with motivating lyrics may fit the bill.
Want to explore something more structured? Try Advanced Brain Technologies The Listening Program®. It is an evidence-based sound brain fitness program in which you listen to specially produced instrumental music, through headphones, 15-30 minutes per day. This music will help transform your brain; lowering stress, improving focus, and maximizing your productivity.

To learn more read Healing at the Speed of Sound or visit http://advancedbrain.com.

By Alex Doman
Founder & CEO Advanced Brain Technologies and author of Healing at the Speed of Sound

Flexible Attention/ Focused Attention

Flexible Attention/ Focused Attention

* Do you get an idea stuck in your head without being able to drop it?
* Are you able to comfortably switch your thinking to change plans at the last minute?
* Is shifting approaches on command a concern for you
* Are you able to pay attention to two things at once
* Do you have issues with paying attention and/or focusing
* Do you have a problem with holding onto several thoughts at one time
* Do you need prompting to get on with things
* Do you have an issue with losing track in the middle of a conversation
* Do you miss important details in tasks

If you see yourself or your child in this category, perhaps it is time for some remediation activities to help take care of this concern?

This is another important area of the Pre-frontal Cortex…and one that can get worse if you are not sleeping well, have been under anesthesia in the past year, have had an illness or just under a lot of additional stress!

Did you know playing the same game with different strategies will help with ‘switching and mental flexibility’! Like ‘solitaire then spider solitaire and then Free Cell’ they are basically the same however the strategies are very different and the mental switching it takes to make that happen leads to more flexibility!
You may also want to look online for the game of moving the cars out of the garage when presented with obstacles…this is another FUN and quick game to work on flexible attention…

Want more ideas?
I am happy to share loads more and for different ages!

drldelong@cognitive-connections.com

Do you have an issue with “Decision speed”?

Do you have slow reaction time?
Is it difficult to think fast enough to respond before others do?
Are you able to ‘think on your feet’ ?
Do you find you get tired easily ?
Is task Initiation a concern for you?
Do have a concern with response Inhibition (self control) ?
Do you works slowly or speed through carelessly ?
Do you perseverate or (repeat an action and/or comments w/o conscious awareness) ?
Do you have a problem with procrastinating ?

If you answer yes to most of these you may have a problem with Decision Speed..this is a problem with the Prefrontal Cortex and can occur if you have had a head injury, lack sleep, viral or bacterial infection or a cognitive concern like ADHD.

For FREE*** remediation ideas concerning ‘Decision Speed’…email me at drldelong@cognitive-connections.com

Stress Decreases your Ability to use your Thinking Brain

Stress Decreases your Ability to use your Thinking Brain

Researchers studying cognitive impairment report decreased memory capacity in stressed individuals.

Individuals process stress in the form of FEAR when the individual has chronic anxiety a surging effect occurs in specific frequency ranges in the brain initiating a ‘Limbic’ (fight or flight) response.

The Hypothalamus creates hormones that actually drive a person’s motor responses to perceived threats.

The adrenal gland releases cortisol which prepares the body to “defend” itself.

Due to the “limbic” system, activity in the “frontal lobe” is not able to focus and therefore reacts instead of using the ‘Thinking part of the brain’.

*** Decreasing this ‘surging effect’ will reduce the need for the amount of stress hormones and therefore allows the person to relax and stay calm.