Creativity, innovation and ideation. Is there something in the brain that makes the brain think that way, as opposed to "normal baseline". What triggers creative thought in humans?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Define idea, please. I have no idea what you mean with the term. $\endgroup$
    – R Stephan
    Oct 29, 2012 at 18:54
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I mean the positive effect on cognition that allows a person to be innovative, think of new things, and in general be more creative. $\endgroup$
    – Alex Stone
    Oct 30, 2012 at 3:54
  • $\begingroup$ I'm quite sure that, if there is such a system, evolution will select against it. Most people live quite well without being innovative or running after any new idea they come up with. I really think you're overly optimistic about the idea. Einstein also said genius is 5% inspiration and 95% transpiration. $\endgroup$
    – R Stephan
    Oct 30, 2012 at 8:33
  • $\begingroup$ Being overly optimistic about the idea supports my point :) This is exactly what I'm interested in - what are the systems involved in this and how long does it take for the system to reach homeostasis, where a person is no longer excited about the idea. $\endgroup$
    – Alex Stone
    Oct 30, 2012 at 15:52
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @rwst, I guess you a re a plant guy :). In animals, it is perspiration and not transpiration. $\endgroup$
    – terdon
    Nov 1, 2012 at 16:00

1 Answer 1


This is a part answer to your question.

The three-factor anatomical model of human idea generation and creative drive presented in "frontotemporal and dopaminergic control of idea generation and creative drive" (Flaherty, 2005) focus on interactions in and between the temporal lobes, frontal lobes, and the limbic system.

Increase in the quantity of idea generation, at times at the expense of quality is associated with changes in the temporal lobe. Conversely, frontal lobe deficits may decrease the quantity of ideas generated, largely due to judgements of an idea's worth. The authors assert that interaction between the two mainly affects verbal and some non-verbal creativity . Further,

Mesolimbic dopamine influences novelty seeking and creative drive. Dopamine agonists and antagonists have opposite effects on goal-directed behavior and hallucinations.

The authors emphasise that creative drive is not the same as skill, and that the 3-factor model is an alternative to the left and right brain hemisphere skills based model.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .