January 10, 2014

Limitless Creativity

Isn’t it great how kids’ brains are so malleable?  They have what’s known as plasticity.  Apparently, as we get older, our brains become more rigid.  So as a child you can learn new languages much more easily, a skill that turns off, and you can learn things like perfect pitch.

It was so fascinating last night listening to On Point on NPR. Apparently scientists have developed a pill that can turn that plasticity back on.  It has huge ramifications in brain science ~ not only could you learn perfect pitch as an adult, it has the potential to help heal traumatic brain injury and other brain disorders. 

Amazing, no?  You could potentially take a pill to “cure” traumatic brain injury.

But what I find fascinating are the implications in creativity.  To be a creative ~ a writer, artist, or engineer ~ you have to be tremendously creative.  That creativity comes naturally as a child due to plasticity but then we sort of turn it off as adults and have to work to turn it back on.  What if this pill could dramatically boost creativity?  Would it also have side effects?  One of the points they made on On Point was that the brain plasticity may turn on and off according to an evolutionary reason we’re not aware of ~ what if you start messing with that? (That age old question ~ are we subverting evolution, or is our influence in and of itself evolution?)

So what do you think?  Would you take a pill to boost your creativity?  Would you sometimes give anything to break writers’ block? 

This reminds me of the movie Limitless ~ the main character takes a pill that makes him much better at everything.  Would you, and damn the side effects?

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