Does Exercise Enhance Creativity?

Does Exercise Enhance Creativity?


One of the most fascinating things about creativity
is that the most recent studies are showing that it’s not just one side of the brain
or the other side of the brain that everybody will tell you. It really is the most creative
people are using both sides of the brain together. So this is an important concept that the brain
is subdivided into two major hemispheres. We have two of each structure. Almost all
the structures of our brain are paired. So the idea is well one side of the brain is
for certain things and the other side of the brain is important for other things. And the
one thing we can say for sure is yes, language is on the left side of the brain. But for
creativity it actually makes more sense to me that with a function so broad as that you
would benefit from having the most cross talk possible between all parts of your brain.
In fact that’s exactly what the neuroscience is showing. So then once we start to understand
– we’re starting to understand a little bit about the brain circuits involved in creativity
that involves a lot the prefrontal cortex as you might expect. Then the question is
well how do I up my creativity? That’s what everybody is interested in. Well there is exciting new evidence that one
of the functions of the hippocampus, an area that we know is important for long-term memory
is that it’s not only important for long-term memory but it’s critical for the function
of imagination. So people have been testing people with other people, patients with damage
to the hippocampi for long periods of time. No surprise they had memory impairments. They
were amnesic. But one day an experimenter back in 2007 tested amnesic patients on tasks
of imagination. And she asked them can you imagine a situation that you’ve never experienced
before. In this case it was imagine a tropical beach. And she compared the responses to people
age matched and education matched people without hippocampal damage. What she found was these
hippocampal patients, these amnesic patients who had normal language abilities were unable
to imagine a future scenario. They could say things like well, there’s blue ocean, there
might be sand. But they couldn’t elaborate at all. Whereas control patients, or control
subjects were able to talk all about, you know, what the beach looked like, the buildings
on the beach, the boats going past them. And this led other researchers to image the brains
of subjects, normal subjects as they were remembering things. And when they remembered
things the hippocampus lit up. But then they asked well imagine something new. And in that
situation the hippocampus lit up again. So there’s multiple modes of evidence suggesting
the hippocampus is not only involved in memory but is also important for imagination. A key
component of creativity. We know that exercise stimulates what we can neurogenesis or the
birth of brand new brain cells in the hippocampus. But because of those brand new brain cells
in my hippocampus I’m also enhancing my imagination. So the hypothesis that I’m
working on in my lab is can exercise actually enhance creativity.

67 Replies to “Does Exercise Enhance Creativity?

  1. This might explain why I feel like I have the creativity and imagination start drawing, and so I did about a week ago, but during the past 3 months I've been working out pretty hard and it feels like I've gone through some positive mental changes, like my brain is functioning a lot better and clearer.
    I've always wanted to draw but never knew what to draw, and I felt like I didn't have the imagination to become an artist, but with the help from a good drawing software, a good drawing tablet and my newly found inspirations I can finally start creating art, and I'm having a lot of fun so far.

  2. Not saying I disagree with what shes saying. Just wanted to note that some of the least creative people I have ever met have been athletes. Maybe it only has a reaction to people with a damaged brain.

  3. From personal experience I would agree that the most creative people are also logical / rational thinkers

  4. I think the reason the hypo-campus lights up is because we are incapable of truly original thought and our imagination is just a creation of our memories mixed and matched. Just a theory I guess.

  5. As a creative genius I can muster the energy from the entire brain plus live stream energy from my senses into my brain and focus this into a creative beam of energy. I'm very special and amazing.

  6. Perhaps the correlation between memory and imagination shows that "memory" as we think we understand it is a myth. "Memory" is just our imagination of things we've already seen.

  7. Surely the only reason exercising lights up the hippocampus is because you're teaching/reminding yourself of how to do the exercise? You're still using your memory when doing basic functions like walking ect- That action was learnt and is in our long term memory, so surely it's obvious why using those memories would trigger the hippocampus? It's got nothing to do with creativity.

  8. But isn't it true that the brain cannot tell the difference between a real memory/thought and an imagined one….And why is it science still cannot answer where a memory is stored?

  9. Is creativity correlated to levels of intelligence? I can imagine that intelligent AIs will also exhibit an inevitable boost of creativity that far surpasses our own. So an increase in intellect is an increase in creativity. Right?

  10. you have a huge and sexy mouth..But who ate your nose? just kidding!!!;)… Hey thanks for sharing this beautiful piece of knowledge though.. appreciate it, this will motivate me a lot more to sweat out myself.

  11. I don't know, but I do know that if I'm stuck for an idea, I go for a walk, and that usually helps.  It might be the exercise, or it might just be the change in surroundings.

  12. I do exercise every day and even though i'm not very smart i feel i compensate with my imagination because i've been able to learn a lot more than i've ever imagined. But this is just a feeling. I know i'm not as smart as i'd like to because i have been lazy at studying (and i'm ashamed to accept this).

  13. @BinkieMcFartnuggets @BinkieMcFartnuggets @BinkieMcFartnuggets  If I say your name three times, does it summon you, like The Candyman?

  14. what these results actually show, in my opinion, is that creativity and imagination is based on memory. While these patients did think of futuristic scenario that has not happened, the buildings and trees that they thought of were all based upon what they have previously seen.

  15. I think creativity has a lot to do with blending many memories together which is pretty much what the hippocampus does anyway

  16. I think creativity has a lot to do with blending many memories together and that's a function of the hippocampus anyway

  17. I think creativity has a lot to do with blending many memories together and that's a function of the hippocampus anyway

  18. that memory and imagination are linked to each other is just logical
    how should a human who lived his whole life in a dark box imagine anything?

  19. From what I remember with the little stuff I know of what she is talking about the brain draws from previous experiences in long term memory to 'build' the image so if you have a damaged long term memory the amount of things you can draw from are limited and therefore you can't properly form the image…. 'n' shit

  20. "Can exercise enhace creativity?" That's a question, not a hypothesis. She needs to get the hypothetico-deductive method right.

  21. uhhh.. so what kind of exercise?  brain exercise? as in, to practice being creative or to actively try to remember things regularly? or physical exercise? like jogging and stuff?

  22. Unbeknownst to her is that she also probably solved a philosophical problem: that there is no such thing as a completely original idea. Every idea is based on past events, and we use our past memory to create new ideas.
    This is why when we imagine aliens, they still look like us, with limbs, eyes, head, brain, mouth. Our imagination is limited to our acquired knowledge. This is why fact will always be stranger than fiction.

  23. iirc, Immortal Technique, a rapper, claims when he's getting in the zone to rap, starves himself, and exercises. could this help? obv not starving yourself, but he does maintain a huge underground reputation and is easily in my top 3 best rap artists of this century. he came out in early 2000's and still maintains a strong rep, sooo maybe there's something to this?

  24. Imagination is not about creating 'future scenarios' .  It is about redefining the present reality and making it more so; arts, music, fashion etc.  Overextending future possibilities will stress the brain leading to anxiety, depression.

  25. I tend to agree with this video. I'm significantly more creative when I'm exercising regularly than when I'm not.

  26. To Big Think, I hope that you could give the new Intelligent Design <id> a chance and time to share to you and to the public  the discovery of the real intelligence that could revolutionize our world and our science.

    http://www.amazon.com/Intelligent-Design-Turning-Scientific-Upside-ebook/dp/B00HWUX22O

  27. There is an old saying that's something like, "There are no new idea's, just variations on old ones." There does seem to be SOME truth in that. Therefor recalling things may be needed for creating. i.e. the things to very. Anyway… Just thoughts on this.

  28. First of all nothing new, ability to create things with the mind, imagination can and should be trained. It's been circulating the personal Development world for ages,  I myself noticed that I can visualise more detailed and more powerful things with time.
    However using it for curing diseases and improving memory sounds amazing.  
    Second of all you won't get many answers here unless you buy a book.

  29. Je suis le prof Mohamed, and I susbcribe to your chanel. I'am available to do a vidéo on your chanel Let a comment on mine.

  30. Doesn't seem to apply to Stephen Hawking.  He is one of the most creative people the world has ever seen, but he couldn't exercise even if he wanted to.

  31. Halfway through, I realized I was leaning away from the screen. Strange. It felt like someone was getting up in my face.
    Probably just me.

  32. Creativity is a by-product of a collection of influences , i animated a book on creativity , it's the art of stealing ideas and mixing them up to come up with something new .

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