The Brain, the Mind: Creative Thought
by Helmut Schwab, Princeton, NJ,  1994

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A theory is suggested to explain practical (not artistic) creative thought and consciousness showing how brain structure and neural signaling can lead to the occurrence of new concepts or ideas in the mind - through a combinatorial process based on memory elements and perceptions. A certain psychological readiness is a precondition. Focus retention and the analog parameter of neural firing rate conditioned by valuation are important physiological elements. Different types and levels of creativity are discussed, as is creativity improvement.

Table of Contents:


Part I: The Progression of Creative Thought

Part II: Special Aspects of Creative Thought Part III: Practical Conclusions and General Considerations Bibliography


Part I:
This essay discusses brain processes on a neural signal level as they occur in practical (not artistic) creative thought. Derived from the basic functions of neurons and the structure of the brain, the functioning of creative thought and consciousness is explained and presented in detail:

The above components are necessary and sufficient for the explanation of practical creative thought processes on the level as discussed in this essay.

Part II:
This part of the essay discusses special aspects of creative thought:

Part III:
In this part, practical applications of the presented understanding of creative thought are discussed: for creativity training, improvement of working conditions, and better team configurations for increased creativity.

More important, the coherence of creative thought is discussed leading to a theory of thought evolution similar to biological evolution. Interesting and important philosophical implications result from that.

The final discussion relates to limits of utility for creative thought in various settings.