Michigan State University neuroscientist Jeremy Gray suspects there's a lot of hard work going on in the brain even when the proverbial light bulb going off feels effortless.
Gray said that they wanted to understand what makes creativity tick, what the specific processes are in the brain.
He said that innovation doesn't just come for free - nobody learns their ABCs in kindergarten and suddenly writes a great novel or poem, for example.
Grey asserted that people need to master their craft before they can start to be creative in interesting ways.
For his latest research, 193 participants were shown a series of nouns and instructed to respond creatively with a verb in each case. The test took about two minutes.
For the noun "chair," for example, instead of answering with the standard verb "sit," a participant might answer "stand," as in to stand on a chair to change a light bulb.
The researchers checked that the answers were in fact verbs and somehow related to the noun; excluding the few nonsensical responses made no difference to the results.
The participants were measured for creativity through a series of more in-depth methods including story writing, drawing and their creative achievements in real life.
Those who gave creative answers in the noun-verb test were indeed the most creative as measured by the more in-depth methods.
The findings have been published in the journal Behavior Research Methods.
--ANI (Posted on 31-10-2013)