Sunday, May 15, 2016

Psychology of Creativity: NYU/Scientific American online course

Evening in New York
Watercolour, crayon and marker
©2014 Charlene Brown

I didn’t have time to paint last week because I spent all my time on my online Psychology of Creativity course, and I’m using this painting because the course is part of the Active Learning program at NYU School of Engineering. I did not in fact go to New York.

Our instructor was Evangelia G. Chrysikou, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Kansas, where she teaches cognitive neuroscience and creative cognition.

She began by explaining some terms related to creativity and the scientific study of creative processes. Five interactive study modules and reading lists were assigned, and each was followed by a live Q&A session (I typed my questions in, as I seem to suffer from Skype-fright).

We covered some of the key findings from research on brain mechanisms associated with creative thought, as well as neurophysiological and behavioral techniques that have been shown to enhance creativity. The neurophysiological (aka Don’t Try This at Home, Kids) methods we learned about, such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Direct Current Stimulation are quite fascinating, but I will limit my blog posts to the behavioral techniques for enhancing creativity that were covered.