Creative People's Brains Prevent Them From Earning
IRVINE, CA — July 11, 2018
German scientists from Gottingen University medical center have found that, in creative people, certain features of their brain interferes with their ability to earn a lot of money.
The experiment involved 24 volunteers, who were divided into two groups. The first group consisted of artists, photographers, sculptors, musicians, and actors. The second group - insurance agents, administrators, engineers, and representatives of other “non-creative” professions.
Each of them was told to find certain colors embedded in select images. For green, participants were given €30 and for other colors they weren't financially rewarded. During the testing, the brains of participants were scanned using an MRI machine.
The researchers concluded that the brains of creative people showed interest only to the process itself, without taking into account the financial reward.
They noted that when creative people find “money” in color, their brain showed very weak activity in the striped body area, which is responsible for the response to reward. But when the artists found colors but did not get paid for it, increased activity was observed in the anterior prefrontal cortex.
"It is responsible for the production of dopamine, affecting the sense of satisfaction," said University of California Irvine (UCI) Department of Physiology and Biophysics professor Dave Gatson, who participated in the experiment.
"In fact, it's not like that. There is a well-known fact that creative people are the hardiest and ready to work. And it doesn't matter if their work is technical or creative. While other professions' representatives can't work more than the established standards." he added.
Every artist has their own way of generating original ideas, but what is happening inside the brain might not be so individual.
“We have identified a pattern of brain connectivity that varies across people, but is associated with the ability to come up with creative ideas,” said Roger Beaty, a psychologist at Harvard University. “It’s not like we can predict with perfect accuracy who’s going to be the next Einstein, but we can get a pretty good sense of how flexible a given person’s thinking is.”
Prior to this experiment, researchers in Austria and China had conducted experiments scanning people’s brains as they came up with original ideas.
The scientists asked the volunteers to perform a creative thinking task as they lay inside a brain scanner. While the machine recorded their white matter at work, the participants had 12 seconds to come up with the most imaginative use for an object that flashed up on a screen.
One of the barriers to creative thinking is the ease with which common, unoriginal thoughts swamp the mind. For example, when asked for creative uses for a sock, soap and chewing gum wrapper, less creative people gave answers such as “covering the feet”, “making bubbles” and “containing gum” respectively. For the same items, more original thinkers suggested a water filtration system, a seal for envelopes, and an antenna wire.
According to the National Academy of Sciences' conclusion, three brain networks tend to work against one another each dampening the other down. But the scans suggest that more creative people can better engage both networks at once. “It might be easier for creative thinkers to bring these resources to bear simultaneously,” Beaty said.