Summary comments regarding the limitations and the enhancement of creative
One can arrive at some practical conclusions from the theory as presented above:
- Innovation, being the result of a combinatorial process, depends
on both, the suitability of foci and the mental building blocks available
to the creative minds, whether in individuals or in teams. The realization
of this fact leads to an understanding of some of the limitations and possible
enhancements of creativity. The realization of this fact can also lead to
a learning process directed toward improved creativity.
- Without thought focus, open questions, or new perspectives, no creative
thought can be expected. Inversely, thought focus on tasks, open questions,
and new perspectives prompt creative thought as suitable mental building blocks
or observations become available. Thus, alertness, work environment, culture,
and psychological attitudes also influence creativity.
- In the start-up phase of an innovative process, individuals with a wider
scope or a wider variety of experiences, or team compositions combining a
variety of backgrounds add to the availability of a variety of mental building
blocks (Darwin and Wallace both discovered the evolution theory upon reading
Malthus Principles of Population). In the detailed phase, more
narrowly focused experts may offer more and more suitable building blocks
in better accessibility.
- Innovation also depends on the accessibility (associative connection in
the brain) of the mental building blocks for the thought process, either from
learning or through communication from the environment (one of the Silicon
Valley-effects). Accessibility can be improved through use of memory
elements in a variety of mental or personal associations. Building blocks
are more interestingly available for individuals with a wide variety of active
experiences or active contacts.
- The combinatorial character of creative thought indicates that innovation
is necessarily continuous (gap-less). For example, a culture that does not
know the wheel can not invent cars and machines till the wheel becomes known
to it. The recent development of the data processing industry is another example
of the continuity in innovation.
- With personal valuation of associations and perceived consequences
being so important in thought sequencing, new-concept generation through back-referencing,
and sudden idea generation, certain psychological factors, such as the traits
of personal temperament, the psychology of the work environment, and established
thought patterns significantly influence creativity. The psychological factors,
already empirically known and widely respected, include shyness or daring,
presentation skills, liking or seeking of innovation (some of which was proven
to be birth-order related), acceptance and reward for new ideas in the given
environment, the right middle between pressure and relaxation, and more.
- Not only the indicated relationship of synaptic formation to the limbic
system, but also the increasingly better-known brain chemistry, explain the
impact of stimulants, sedatives, and other psycho-medications on creativity,
be they coffee, alcohol, or neurotransmitters or hormones produced by the
body, some influenced by proper nutrition and exercise.
- Considering the brains selection of a course in thought sequencing,
one can say that the brain optimizes speed, economy, and personal comfort
in handling common tasks, problems, or threats over exhaustiveness of inquiry,
optimizing of results, and personal exposure. In other words, the brain provides,
at first, a likely solution or idea in the shortest time and with the least
effort based on past experience, not the best solution based on tedious search.
- By means of this theory, it was shown that the brain is the combination
of an analog and a digital signal processor (without clock synchronization).
The analog parameters of brain processes (synaptic strength and nerval firing
rate) gain new significance (in combination with the digital modeling
of the brains synaptic interconnectivity) for the full understanding of mental
creativity and idea appearance.
- Much practical innovation and problem-solving are actually based on pattern
recognition, not on forming new concepts. New concepts may be the result of
a newly recognized pattern. Therefore, possibly the major portion of all research
effort lies in searching for a large quantity of new data points for statistical
evaluation and/or subsequent pattern recognition. Some pattern recognition
of sensory inputs, even some highly complex pattern recognition, is provided
by the subject sensory reception areas of the brain - for example, the visual
cortex. The question arises whether a more complex or abstract pattern recognition
among perceptions, thought, or research-originated data points can be called
a creative process. Judged by consequences, it certainly is. Is
the interpretation of a Rorschach blot a creative skill? Is pattern recognition,
whether in science or business, a special skill? How does it function? Indications
are that the explanation of the process of complex pattern recognition lies
close to the combinatorial creative process described in this paper.