วันจันทร์ที่ 16 เมษายน พ.ศ. 2555

The neuroscience of Bob Dylan's genius

How can we have seen, and when inspiration? Jonah Lehrer

happening inside the brain of Bob Dylan to know

Bob Dylan

seems boring. It is May 1965 and is buried in an armchair at the Savoy Hotel in London. The camera filmed the documentary does not look back on the tour Dylan, turns his back - Dylan fatigue feels like an accusation - and begins to cross the room, capturing irregular procession folkies and groupies who follow the singer in the last weeks of his European tour.

For the last four months, Dylan had difficulty maintaining a grueling schedule of performances. He had been paraded before the press and asked an endless series of stupid questions. Sometimes Dylan has lost his cool and they presumed to reporters. "I have nothing to say about these things I write," he said. "There's no great message. Stop asking me to explain. "

Although creativity Dylan has remained constant - I wrote it because I did not know what else to do - there were growing signs that he was creating a lack of interest music. Talent alone mattered was ruined by fame. The breaking point probably came after a short holiday in Portugal, where Dylan was a vicious case of food poisoning. The illness forced him to stay in bed for a week, giving the singer a rare chance to reflect. "I realized that I was very tired," Dylan later admitted. "I played a lot of songs that would not play. It is very tiring to other people tell you how much you dig, if you do not dig. "

In London, a room in sold-out Royal Albert, Dylan told his manager that he has retired from the music industry. He had finished singing and writing songs and was going to happen in a small cabin in Woodstock, New York.

Every journey begins with a problem of creation. It begins with a sense of frustration, the dull ache of not being able to find the answer. When you tell other stories about creativity, we tend to neglect this phase of the creative process. We should mention the days when they wanted to quit, when we thought our problems were insoluble. Instead, skip forward. The danger of telling this story is that the frustration - the act of being blurred - is an essential element of the creative process. Before we can find the answer - before probably did not even know the question - we must be immersed in disillusionment, convinced that the solution is beyond our reach. Often it is only at this stage, after we stopped looking for the answer, the answer comes. Suddenly, the answer to that seemed so vast that it becomes very obvious.

This is the time of the stereotypical view that people know so many stories of Archimedes in the bathtub and Isaac Newton under the apple tree. When people think about creative breakthroughs tend to imagine that the flash bulbs, like a light bulb goes on in the brain.


These stories share certain essential characteristics that scientists use to define "the experience of knowledge". The first step is deadlocked. If we are lucky, however, that despair over time leads to a revelation. This is another essential characteristic moments of introspection: the feeling of certainty that accompanies the new idea. After Archimedes had his eureka moment - he realized that moving water could be used to measure the volume of objects - that immediately jumped out of the tub and ran to tell the king about his solution. He reached the palace and tempered, frozen.

At first glance, the timing of the idea may seem like an impenetrable enigma. We are caught and then we are not, and we have no idea what happened between the two. It is as if the crust is to share one of his secrets. The question, of course, is how these ideas become reality.

was 1990 and Mark Beeman, a young scientist from the National Institutes of Health in the United States, was the study of patients who had suffered damage in the right hemisphere of the brain. "The doctors always say to these people:" You're lucky, "says Beeman." They spoke of how the right hemisphere is the lower hemisphere - there are no long, and does nothing with the language "These words. comfort reflects the scientific consensus that the right brain half was almost useless in his 1981 Nobel lecture, neuroscientist Roger Sperry summarized the prevailing view in the right hemisphere at the time:. the right hemisphere was "not only stupid and unable to write, but also dyslexic, word-deaf and apraxic, and generally do not have higher cognitive functions." In other words, they thought it ' was a useless piece of cloth.


But the fact that many patients with right hemisphere lesions, but had serious cognitive problems, even if the left hemisphere had been saved. "Some of these patients could not understand jokes or sarcasm or metaphors," says Beeman. "Others have had a difficult time with a card or make sense of the painting."

Beeman At first I could not understand what all these shortcomings have in common. What mood is all about navigation? And then, just when Beeman was about to give up, had an idea - perhaps so that the right hemisphere is to do what he was trying to do: find the subtle connections between things seemingly unrelated. Beeman realized that all the problems faced by the patients concerned to make sense of everything, not only for the parties, but how they stand.


language deficits caused by right hemisphere lesions. Beeman hypothesized that, while the left hemisphere is responsible for the denotation - that stores the literal meaning of words - the best deals right hemisphere with all connotations or meanings that can not be found in the dictionary. Metaphors are a perfect example of that. From the perspective of the brain, a metaphor is a bridge between two ideas, at least on the surface, are not equivalent or related. When Romeo says "Juliet is the sun," we know that does not mean that your beloved is a huge ball of burning hydrogen. We realize that Romeo is the trafficking of metaphor. It could not be a star, but maybe she lights up her world just as the sun illuminates the earth.

How the brain understands the lines of "Juliet is the sun"? The left hemisphere is focused on the literal definition of words, but it's not particularly useful. We can understand the link between the two names rely only on their overlapping partnerships, by detecting the nuances that may have qualities in common. This understanding is more likely to occur in the right hemisphere, as is the only one able to zoom out and analyze the judgment of the farthest point of view.

does not apply only to the language. A study in the 1940s asked people of various types of brain lesions to copy an image of a house. Patients who depend on the left hemisphere because the right hemisphere was incapacitated showed a house that was patently absurd: the front doors that float in space, the ceilings were reversed. However, carefully designed details and a lot of effort to capture the shape of the bricks of the fireplace or wrinkles in the curtains of the window. In contrast, patients who have been forced to rely on right hemisphere tend to focus on the overall shape of the structure. His images lack detail.

Almost everyone starts with the display of the pyramid. Your next thought is probably due to some type of crane that lifted the pyramid. (Alas, for example, a device violates the rules.) Then you can find a way to slip some money without breaking the bill. Unfortunately, for most people, there is no viable solutions come to mind, so we reach the stage of stagnation. The subject is nervous and frustrated. At this time, primary topics started giving advice. The subliminal started a sentence with the word fire or told to reflect on the meaning of the deletion. "We want to give people those funny glasses that allowed us to blink an eye at a time advice," says primary. "It was amazing how you can flash a clear sign to the right eye [and of the left hemisphere so] and would not make a difference. Still do not understand. But then, it will flash on the same track in the other eye, and may generate the idea. (If you're still wondering, the solution is to put the hundred dollar bill on fire.)

While the left hemisphere was trying to build the pyramid in the air - the most obvious way to "eliminate" the money - the right hemisphere was thinking about alternative approaches. "I realized that the moments of vision could be a very interesting to see these unique capabilities of the cases the right hemisphere," says Beeman.

isolate brain activity that defines the process of discernment, Beeman is necessary to compare the moments of insight to the answers that came through conscious analysis, that is, people methodically test the ideas one by one. In the analysis of consciousness, people have an idea of ??your progress and can accurately explain their thought processes. The problem is solved thanks to the diligence and hard work, and when you get the answer, there is nothing about this soon. Unfortunately, all the puzzles that scientists use to explore the idea of ??vision required. Or have been resolved of a sudden "Aha!" time or not at all solved. This challenge was Beeman: to achieve a series of puzzles that are often resolved by the vision, but not always. In theory, this would isolate the unique characteristics of neurons that define the process of discernment.
The puzzles like this: a subject is given three different words, such as age, mileage and the sand, and asked them to think of a word that can form a compound word or phrase with each of the three. (In this case, the answer is the stone: the stone age, sandstone marker.) The subject has 15 seconds to solve the problem before the appearance of a new puzzle. If you think of an answer, press the space bar and said that if the answer came through understanding or analysis.

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