Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

When Creativity Arises The Inner Chatterer Shuts Off

Expand Messages
  • medit8ionsociety
    In this article from Medical New Today, I think what has been found is what meditators find when they concentrate...IE: that when the Inner Chatterer that
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 27, 2008
    View Source
    • 0 Attachment
      In this article from Medical New Today,
      I think what has been found is what meditators
      find when they concentrate...IE: that when the
      "Inner Chatterer" that compares, judges, and
      comments on virtually everything stops
      its chatter, creative wisdom and beauty flows.
      Enjoy (in spite of the scientific jargon)!

      Main Category: Neurology / Neuroscience
      Article Date: 27 Feb 2008 - 4:00 PST

      Large Portion Of Brain's Prefrontal Region
      'Takes 5' To Let Creativity Flow In Jazz
      Improvisation

      When John Coltrane was expanding the boundaries
      of the well-known song "My Favorite Things" at
      the Village Vanguard in May 1966, no one could
      have known what inspired him to take the musical
      turns he took. But imaging researchers may now
      have a better picture of how the brain was helping
      to carry him there. Scientists funded by the
      National Institute on Deafness and Other
      Communication Disorders (NIDCD) have found that,
      when jazz musicians are engaged in the highly
      creative and spontaneous activity known as
      improvisation, a large region of the brain involved
      in monitoring one's performance is shut down, while
      a small region involved in organizing self-initiated
      thoughts and behaviors is highly activated. The
      researchers propose that this and several related
      patterns are likely to be key indicators of a brain
      that is engaged in highly creative thought. NIDCD is
      one of the National Institutes of Health. The study
      is published in the Feb. 27 issue of the journal
      Public Library of Science (PLoS) One.

      During the study, six highly trained jazz musicians
      played the keyboard under two scenarios while in the
      functional MRI scanner. Functional MRI (fMRI) is an
      imaging tool that measures the amount of blood
      traveling to various regions of the brain as a means
      of assessing the amount of neural activity in those
      areas.

      "The ability to study how the brain functions when
      it is thinking creatively has been difficult for
      scientists because of the many variables involved,"
      said James F. Battey, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., director
      of the NIDCD. "Through some creative thinking of
      their own, these researchers designed a protocol
      in which jazz musicians could play a keyboard while
      in the confines of a functional MRI scanner. And in
      doing so, they were able to pinpoint differences in
      how the brain functions when the musicians are
      improvising as opposed to playing a simple melody
      from memory."

      The study was conducted by researchers of NIDCD's
      Division of Intramural Research. Authors on the study
      are Charles J. Limb, M.D., who was then a research
      fellow with NIDCD, and Allen R. Braun, M.D., chief
      of the division's Language Section. Dr. Limb is
      now an otolaryngologist at the Johns Hopkins University
      School of Medicine and faculty member at the university's
      Peabody Conservatory of Music.

      The first scenario, called the Scale paradigm,
      was based on a simple C major scale. Using only
      their right hand, the volunteers first played
      the scale up and down in quarter notes, an activity
      they, as accomplished musicians, had performed many
      times before. Next, they were asked to improvise,
      though they were limited to playing quarter notes
      within the C major scale. "Although the musicians
      were indeed improvising, it was a relatively low-level
      form of improvisation, musically speaking," said Limb.

      The second scenario, called the Jazz paradigm,
      addressed higher level musical improvisation.
      This paradigm was based on a novel blues melody
      written by Limb that the volunteers had memorized
      beforehand. Again, using only their right hand,
      the musicians would play the tune exactly as they
      had memorized it, only this time accompanied through
      headphones by a pre-recorded jazz quartet. When they
      were asked to improvise, the musicians listened to
      the same audio background, but they were free to
      spontaneously play whatever notes they wished.

      All of this was accomplished while the musicians
      lay on their backs with their heads and torsos
      inside an fMRI scanner and their knees bent upward.
      The plastic keyboard, which was shortened to fit
      inside the scanner and which had its magnetic parts
      removed for safety, rested on the musicians' knees.
      A mirror placed over the volunteers' eyes, together
      with the headphones, helped the musicians see and
      hear what they were playing. The resulting fMRI scans
      recorded the amount of change in neural activity -
      increases and decreases - between the improvised
      and memorized versions.

      Turning Off 'The Monitor'

      One notable finding was that the brain scans were
      nearly identical for the low-level and high-level
      forms of improvisation, thus supporting the
      researchers' hypothesis that the change in neural
      activity was due to creativity and not the complexity
      of the task. If the latter were the case, there would
      have been a more noticeable difference between the
      Scale and Jazz paradigms, since the Jazz paradigm was
      significantly more complex.

      Moreover, the researchers found that much of
      the change between improvisation and memorization
      occurred in the prefrontal cortex, the region of
      the frontal lobe of the brain that helps us think
      and problem-solve and that provides a sense of self.
      Interestingly, the large portion responsible for
      monitoring one's performance (dorsolateral prefrontal
      cortex) shuts down completely during improvisation,
      while the much smaller, centrally located region at
      the foremost part of the brain (medial prefrontal
      cortex) increases in activity. The medial prefrontal
      cortex is involved in self-initiated thoughts and
      behaviors, and is very active when a person describes
      an event that has happened to him or makes up a story.
      The researchers explain that, just as over-thinking
      a jump shot can cause a basketball player to fall out
      of the zone and perform poorly, the suppression of
      inhibitory, self-monitoring brain mechanisms helps
      to promote the free flow of novel ideas and impulses.
      While this brain pattern is unusual, it resembles the
      pattern seen in people when they are dreaming.

      Another unusual finding was that there was increased
      neural activity in each of the sensory areas
      during improvisation, including those responsible
      for touch, hearing and vision, despite the fact that
      there were no significant differences in what
      individuals were hearing, touching and seeing during
      both memorized and improvised conditions. "It's
      almost as if the brain ramps up its sensorimotor
      processing in order to be in a creative state," said
      Limb. The systems that regulate emotion were also
      engaged during improvisation.

      "One important thing we can conclude from this study
      is that there is no single creative area of the brain -
      no focal activation of a single area," said Braun.
      "Rather, when you move from either of the control
      tasks to improvisation, you see a strong and
      consistent pattern of activity throughout the brain
      that enables creativity."

      ----------------------------
      Article adapted by Medical News Today from
      original press release.
      ----------------------------

      NIDCD supports and conducts research and research
      training on the normal and disordered processes
      of hearing, balance, smell, taste, voice, speech a
      nd language and provides health information, based
      upon scientific discovery, to the public. For more
      information about NIDCD programs, see the Web site at
      http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/.

      The National Institutes of Health (NIH) -
      The Nation's Medical Research Agency - includes
      27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of
      the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.
      It is the primary federal agency for conducting
      and supporting basic, clinical, and translational
      medical research, and it investigates the causes,
      treatments, and cures for both common and rare
      diseases. For more information about NIH and its
      programs, visit http://www.nih.gov/.

      Source: Jennifer Wenger
      IH/National Institute on Deafness and Other
      Communication Disorders
    • Bruce Morgen
      ...or as a wise old jazzman told me nearly forty years ago, You ll know you re a player when you ve stopped watching yourself try to play!
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 27, 2008
      View Source
      • 0 Attachment
        ...or as a wise old jazzman
        told me nearly forty years ago,
        "You'll know you're a player
        when you've stopped watching
        yourself try to play!"


        medit8ionsociety wrote:
        > In this article from Medical New Today,
        > I think what has been found is what meditators
        > find when they concentrate...IE: that when the
        > "Inner Chatterer" that compares, judges, and
        > comments on virtually everything stops
        > its chatter, creative wisdom and beauty flows.
        > Enjoy (in spite of the scientific jargon)!
        >
        > Main Category: Neurology / Neuroscience
        > Article Date: 27 Feb 2008 - 4:00 PST
        >
        > Large Portion Of Brain's Prefrontal Region
        > 'Takes 5' To Let Creativity Flow In Jazz
        > Improvisation
        >
        > When John Coltrane was expanding the boundaries
        > of the well-known song "My Favorite Things" at
        > the Village Vanguard in May 1966, no one could
        > have known what inspired him to take the musical
        > turns he took. But imaging researchers may now
        > have a better picture of how the brain was helping
        > to carry him there. Scientists funded by the
        > National Institute on Deafness and Other
        > Communication Disorders (NIDCD) have found that,
        > when jazz musicians are engaged in the highly
        > creative and spontaneous activity known as
        > improvisation, a large region of the brain involved
        > in monitoring one's performance is shut down, while
        > a small region involved in organizing self-initiated
        > thoughts and behaviors is highly activated. The
        > researchers propose that this and several related
        > patterns are likely to be key indicators of a brain
        > that is engaged in highly creative thought. NIDCD is
        > one of the National Institutes of Health. The study
        > is published in the Feb. 27 issue of the journal
        > Public Library of Science (PLoS) One.
        >
        > During the study, six highly trained jazz musicians
        > played the keyboard under two scenarios while in the
        > functional MRI scanner. Functional MRI (fMRI) is an
        > imaging tool that measures the amount of blood
        > traveling to various regions of the brain as a means
        > of assessing the amount of neural activity in those
        > areas.
        >
        > "The ability to study how the brain functions when
        > it is thinking creatively has been difficult for
        > scientists because of the many variables involved,"
        > said James F. Battey, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., director
        > of the NIDCD. "Through some creative thinking of
        > their own, these researchers designed a protocol
        > in which jazz musicians could play a keyboard while
        > in the confines of a functional MRI scanner. And in
        > doing so, they were able to pinpoint differences in
        > how the brain functions when the musicians are
        > improvising as opposed to playing a simple melody
        > from memory."
        >
        > The study was conducted by researchers of NIDCD's
        > Division of Intramural Research. Authors on the study
        > are Charles J. Limb, M.D., who was then a research
        > fellow with NIDCD, and Allen R. Braun, M.D., chief
        > of the division's Language Section. Dr. Limb is
        > now an otolaryngologist at the Johns Hopkins University
        > School of Medicine and faculty member at the university's
        > Peabody Conservatory of Music.
        >
        > The first scenario, called the Scale paradigm,
        > was based on a simple C major scale. Using only
        > their right hand, the volunteers first played
        > the scale up and down in quarter notes, an activity
        > they, as accomplished musicians, had performed many
        > times before. Next, they were asked to improvise,
        > though they were limited to playing quarter notes
        > within the C major scale. "Although the musicians
        > were indeed improvising, it was a relatively low-level
        > form of improvisation, musically speaking," said Limb.
        >
        > The second scenario, called the Jazz paradigm,
        > addressed higher level musical improvisation.
        > This paradigm was based on a novel blues melody
        > written by Limb that the volunteers had memorized
        > beforehand. Again, using only their right hand,
        > the musicians would play the tune exactly as they
        > had memorized it, only this time accompanied through
        > headphones by a pre-recorded jazz quartet. When they
        > were asked to improvise, the musicians listened to
        > the same audio background, but they were free to
        > spontaneously play whatever notes they wished.
        >
        > All of this was accomplished while the musicians
        > lay on their backs with their heads and torsos
        > inside an fMRI scanner and their knees bent upward.
        > The plastic keyboard, which was shortened to fit
        > inside the scanner and which had its magnetic parts
        > removed for safety, rested on the musicians' knees.
        > A mirror placed over the volunteers' eyes, together
        > with the headphones, helped the musicians see and
        > hear what they were playing. The resulting fMRI scans
        > recorded the amount of change in neural activity -
        > increases and decreases - between the improvised
        > and memorized versions.
        >
        > Turning Off 'The Monitor'
        >
        > One notable finding was that the brain scans were
        > nearly identical for the low-level and high-level
        > forms of improvisation, thus supporting the
        > researchers' hypothesis that the change in neural
        > activity was due to creativity and not the complexity
        > of the task. If the latter were the case, there would
        > have been a more noticeable difference between the
        > Scale and Jazz paradigms, since the Jazz paradigm was
        > significantly more complex.
        >
        > Moreover, the researchers found that much of
        > the change between improvisation and memorization
        > occurred in the prefrontal cortex, the region of
        > the frontal lobe of the brain that helps us think
        > and problem-solve and that provides a sense of self.
        > Interestingly, the large portion responsible for
        > monitoring one's performance (dorsolateral prefrontal
        > cortex) shuts down completely during improvisation,
        > while the much smaller, centrally located region at
        > the foremost part of the brain (medial prefrontal
        > cortex) increases in activity. The medial prefrontal
        > cortex is involved in self-initiated thoughts and
        > behaviors, and is very active when a person describes
        > an event that has happened to him or makes up a story.
        > The researchers explain that, just as over-thinking
        > a jump shot can cause a basketball player to fall out
        > of the zone and perform poorly, the suppression of
        > inhibitory, self-monitoring brain mechanisms helps
        > to promote the free flow of novel ideas and impulses.
        > While this brain pattern is unusual, it resembles the
        > pattern seen in people when they are dreaming.
        >
        > Another unusual finding was that there was increased
        > neural activity in each of the sensory areas
        > during improvisation, including those responsible
        > for touch, hearing and vision, despite the fact that
        > there were no significant differences in what
        > individuals were hearing, touching and seeing during
        > both memorized and improvised conditions. "It's
        > almost as if the brain ramps up its sensorimotor
        > processing in order to be in a creative state," said
        > Limb. The systems that regulate emotion were also
        > engaged during improvisation.
        >
        > "One important thing we can conclude from this study
        > is that there is no single creative area of the brain -
        > no focal activation of a single area," said Braun.
        > "Rather, when you move from either of the control
        > tasks to improvisation, you see a strong and
        > consistent pattern of activity throughout the brain
        > that enables creativity."
        >
        > ----------------------------
        > Article adapted by Medical News Today from
        > original press release.
        > ----------------------------
        >
        > NIDCD supports and conducts research and research
        > training on the normal and disordered processes
        > of hearing, balance, smell, taste, voice, speech a
        > nd language and provides health information, based
        > upon scientific discovery, to the public. For more
        > information about NIDCD programs, see the Web site at
        > http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/.
        >
        > The National Institutes of Health (NIH) -
        > The Nation's Medical Research Agency - includes
        > 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of
        > the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.
        > It is the primary federal agency for conducting
        > and supporting basic, clinical, and translational
        > medical research, and it investigates the causes,
        > treatments, and cures for both common and rare
        > diseases. For more information about NIH and its
        > programs, visit http://www.nih.gov/.
        >
        > Source: Jennifer Wenger
        > IH/National Institute on Deafness and Other
        > Communication Disorders
        >
        >
      • Jeff Belyea
        ...or as Yogi Berra said, You can t think and hit the ball at the same time.
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 28, 2008
        View Source
        • 0 Attachment
          ...or as Yogi Berra said,
          "You can't think and hit
          the ball at the same time."

          --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, Bruce Morgen
          <editor@...> wrote:
          >
          > ...or as a wise old jazzman
          > told me nearly forty years ago,
          > "You'll know you're a player
          > when you've stopped watching
          > yourself try to play!"
          >
          >
          > medit8ionsociety wrote:
          > > In this article from Medical New Today,
          > > I think what has been found is what meditators
          > > find when they concentrate...IE: that when the
          > > "Inner Chatterer" that compares, judges, and
          > > comments on virtually everything stops
          > > its chatter, creative wisdom and beauty flows.
          > > Enjoy (in spite of the scientific jargon)!
          > >
          > > Main Category: Neurology / Neuroscience
          > > Article Date: 27 Feb 2008 - 4:00 PST
          > >
          > > Large Portion Of Brain's Prefrontal Region
          > > 'Takes 5' To Let Creativity Flow In Jazz
          > > Improvisation
          > >
          > > When John Coltrane was expanding the boundaries
          > > of the well-known song "My Favorite Things" at
          > > the Village Vanguard in May 1966, no one could
          > > have known what inspired him to take the musical
          > > turns he took. But imaging researchers may now
          > > have a better picture of how the brain was helping
          > > to carry him there. Scientists funded by the
          > > National Institute on Deafness and Other
          > > Communication Disorders (NIDCD) have found that,
          > > when jazz musicians are engaged in the highly
          > > creative and spontaneous activity known as
          > > improvisation, a large region of the brain involved
          > > in monitoring one's performance is shut down, while
          > > a small region involved in organizing self-initiated
          > > thoughts and behaviors is highly activated. The
          > > researchers propose that this and several related
          > > patterns are likely to be key indicators of a brain
          > > that is engaged in highly creative thought. NIDCD is
          > > one of the National Institutes of Health. The study
          > > is published in the Feb. 27 issue of the journal
          > > Public Library of Science (PLoS) One.
          > >
          > > During the study, six highly trained jazz musicians
          > > played the keyboard under two scenarios while in the
          > > functional MRI scanner. Functional MRI (fMRI) is an
          > > imaging tool that measures the amount of blood
          > > traveling to various regions of the brain as a means
          > > of assessing the amount of neural activity in those
          > > areas.
          > >
          > > "The ability to study how the brain functions when
          > > it is thinking creatively has been difficult for
          > > scientists because of the many variables involved,"
          > > said James F. Battey, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., director
          > > of the NIDCD. "Through some creative thinking of
          > > their own, these researchers designed a protocol
          > > in which jazz musicians could play a keyboard while
          > > in the confines of a functional MRI scanner. And in
          > > doing so, they were able to pinpoint differences in
          > > how the brain functions when the musicians are
          > > improvising as opposed to playing a simple melody
          > > from memory."
          > >
          > > The study was conducted by researchers of NIDCD's
          > > Division of Intramural Research. Authors on the study
          > > are Charles J. Limb, M.D., who was then a research
          > > fellow with NIDCD, and Allen R. Braun, M.D., chief
          > > of the division's Language Section. Dr. Limb is
          > > now an otolaryngologist at the Johns Hopkins University
          > > School of Medicine and faculty member at the university's
          > > Peabody Conservatory of Music.
          > >
          > > The first scenario, called the Scale paradigm,
          > > was based on a simple C major scale. Using only
          > > their right hand, the volunteers first played
          > > the scale up and down in quarter notes, an activity
          > > they, as accomplished musicians, had performed many
          > > times before. Next, they were asked to improvise,
          > > though they were limited to playing quarter notes
          > > within the C major scale. "Although the musicians
          > > were indeed improvising, it was a relatively low-level
          > > form of improvisation, musically speaking," said Limb.
          > >
          > > The second scenario, called the Jazz paradigm,
          > > addressed higher level musical improvisation.
          > > This paradigm was based on a novel blues melody
          > > written by Limb that the volunteers had memorized
          > > beforehand. Again, using only their right hand,
          > > the musicians would play the tune exactly as they
          > > had memorized it, only this time accompanied through
          > > headphones by a pre-recorded jazz quartet. When they
          > > were asked to improvise, the musicians listened to
          > > the same audio background, but they were free to
          > > spontaneously play whatever notes they wished.
          > >
          > > All of this was accomplished while the musicians
          > > lay on their backs with their heads and torsos
          > > inside an fMRI scanner and their knees bent upward.
          > > The plastic keyboard, which was shortened to fit
          > > inside the scanner and which had its magnetic parts
          > > removed for safety, rested on the musicians' knees.
          > > A mirror placed over the volunteers' eyes, together
          > > with the headphones, helped the musicians see and
          > > hear what they were playing. The resulting fMRI scans
          > > recorded the amount of change in neural activity -
          > > increases and decreases - between the improvised
          > > and memorized versions.
          > >
          > > Turning Off 'The Monitor'
          > >
          > > One notable finding was that the brain scans were
          > > nearly identical for the low-level and high-level
          > > forms of improvisation, thus supporting the
          > > researchers' hypothesis that the change in neural
          > > activity was due to creativity and not the complexity
          > > of the task. If the latter were the case, there would
          > > have been a more noticeable difference between the
          > > Scale and Jazz paradigms, since the Jazz paradigm was
          > > significantly more complex.
          > >
          > > Moreover, the researchers found that much of
          > > the change between improvisation and memorization
          > > occurred in the prefrontal cortex, the region of
          > > the frontal lobe of the brain that helps us think
          > > and problem-solve and that provides a sense of self.
          > > Interestingly, the large portion responsible for
          > > monitoring one's performance (dorsolateral prefrontal
          > > cortex) shuts down completely during improvisation,
          > > while the much smaller, centrally located region at
          > > the foremost part of the brain (medial prefrontal
          > > cortex) increases in activity. The medial prefrontal
          > > cortex is involved in self-initiated thoughts and
          > > behaviors, and is very active when a person describes
          > > an event that has happened to him or makes up a story.
          > > The researchers explain that, just as over-thinking
          > > a jump shot can cause a basketball player to fall out
          > > of the zone and perform poorly, the suppression of
          > > inhibitory, self-monitoring brain mechanisms helps
          > > to promote the free flow of novel ideas and impulses.
          > > While this brain pattern is unusual, it resembles the
          > > pattern seen in people when they are dreaming.
          > >
          > > Another unusual finding was that there was increased
          > > neural activity in each of the sensory areas
          > > during improvisation, including those responsible
          > > for touch, hearing and vision, despite the fact that
          > > there were no significant differences in what
          > > individuals were hearing, touching and seeing during
          > > both memorized and improvised conditions. "It's
          > > almost as if the brain ramps up its sensorimotor
          > > processing in order to be in a creative state," said
          > > Limb. The systems that regulate emotion were also
          > > engaged during improvisation.
          > >
          > > "One important thing we can conclude from this study
          > > is that there is no single creative area of the brain -
          > > no focal activation of a single area," said Braun.
          > > "Rather, when you move from either of the control
          > > tasks to improvisation, you see a strong and
          > > consistent pattern of activity throughout the brain
          > > that enables creativity."
          > >
          > > ----------------------------
          > > Article adapted by Medical News Today from
          > > original press release.
          > > ----------------------------
          > >
          > > NIDCD supports and conducts research and research
          > > training on the normal and disordered processes
          > > of hearing, balance, smell, taste, voice, speech a
          > > nd language and provides health information, based
          > > upon scientific discovery, to the public. For more
          > > information about NIDCD programs, see the Web site at
          > > http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/.
          > >
          > > The National Institutes of Health (NIH) -
          > > The Nation's Medical Research Agency - includes
          > > 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of
          > > the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.
          > > It is the primary federal agency for conducting
          > > and supporting basic, clinical, and translational
          > > medical research, and it investigates the causes,
          > > treatments, and cures for both common and rare
          > > diseases. For more information about NIH and its
          > > programs, visit http://www.nih.gov/.
          > >
          > > Source: Jennifer Wenger
          > > IH/National Institute on Deafness and Other
          > > Communication Disorders
          > >
          > >
          >
        • Balasubramanian Radhakrishnan Kumar
          Since the ball, the act of hitting and the hitter are all one and the same ! To: meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.comFrom: jeff@mindgoal.comDate: Thu, 28
          Message 4 of 4 , Feb 28, 2008
          View Source
          • 0 Attachment
            Since the ball, the act of hitting and the hitter are all one and the same !


            To: meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com
            From: jeff@...
            Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2008 11:25:05 +0000
            Subject: Re: [Meditation Society of America] When Creativity Arises The Inner Chatterer Shuts Off

            ...or as Yogi Berra said,
            "You can't think and hit
            the ball at the same time."

            --- In meditationsocietyof america@yahoogro ups.com, Bruce Morgen
            <editor@...> wrote:
            >
            > ...or as a wise old jazzman
            > told me nearly forty years ago,
            > "You'll know you're a player
            > when you've stopped watching
            > yourself try to play!"
            >
            >
            > medit8ionsociety wrote:
            > > In this article from Medical New Today,
            > > I think what has been found is what meditators
            > > find when they concentrate. ..IE: that when the
            > > "Inner Chatterer" that compares, judges, and
            > > comments on virtually everything stops
            > > its chatter, creative wisdom and beauty flows.
            > > Enjoy (in spite of the scientific jargon)!
            > >
            > > Main Category: Neurology / Neuroscience
            > > Article Date: 27 Feb 2008 - 4:00 PST
            > >
            > > Large Portion Of Brain's Prefrontal Region
            > > 'Takes 5' To Let Creativity Flow In Jazz
            > > Improvisation
            > >
            > > When John Coltrane was expanding the boundaries
            > > of the well-known song "My Favorite Things" at
            > > the Village Vanguard in May 1966, no one could
            > > have known what inspired him to take the musical
            > > turns he took. But imaging researchers may now
            > > have a better picture of how the brain was helping
            > > to carry him there. Scientists funded by the
            > > National Institute on Deafness and Other
            > > Communication Disorders (NIDCD) have found that,
            > > when jazz musicians are engaged in the highly
            > > creative and spontaneous activity known as
            > > improvisation, a large region of the brain involved
            > > in monitoring one's performance is shut down, while
            > > a small region involved in organizing self-initiated
            > > thoughts and behaviors is highly activated. The
            > > researchers propose that this and several related
            > > patterns are likely to be key indicators of a brain
            > > that is engaged in highly creative thought. NIDCD is
            > > one of the National Institutes of Health. The study
            > > is published in the Feb. 27 issue of the journal
            > > Public Library of Science (PLoS) One.
            > >
            > > During the study, six highly trained jazz musicians
            > > played the keyboard under two scenarios while in the
            > > functional MRI scanner. Functional MRI (fMRI) is an
            > > imaging tool that measures the amount of blood
            > > traveling to various regions of the brain as a means
            > > of assessing the amount of neural activity in those
            > > areas.
            > >
            > > "The ability to study how the brain functions when
            > > it is thinking creatively has been difficult for
            > > scientists because of the many variables involved,"
            > > said James F. Battey, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., director
            > > of the NIDCD. "Through some creative thinking of
            > > their own, these researchers designed a protocol
            > > in which jazz musicians could play a keyboard while
            > > in the confines of a functional MRI scanner. And in
            > > doing so, they were able to pinpoint differences in
            > > how the brain functions when the musicians are
            > > improvising as opposed to playing a simple melody
            > > from memory."
            > >
            > > The study was conducted by researchers of NIDCD's
            > > Division of Intramural Research. Authors on the study
            > > are Charles J. Limb, M.D., who was then a research
            > > fellow with NIDCD, and Allen R. Braun, M.D., chief
            > > of the division's Language Section. Dr. Limb is
            > > now an otolaryngologist at the Johns Hopkins University
            > > School of Medicine and faculty member at the university's
            > > Peabody Conservatory of Music.
            > >
            > > The first scenario, called the Scale paradigm,
            > > was based on a simple C major scale. Using only
            > > their right hand, the volunteers first played
            > > the scale up and down in quarter notes, an activity
            > > they, as accomplished musicians, had performed many
            > > times before. Next, they were asked to improvise,
            > > though they were limited to playing quarter notes
            > > within the C major scale. "Although the musicians
            > > were indeed improvising, it was a relatively low-level
            > > form of improvisation, musically speaking," said Limb.
            > >
            > > The second scenario, called the Jazz paradigm,
            > > addressed higher level musical improvisation.
            > > This paradigm was based on a novel blues melody
            > > written by Limb that the volunteers had memorized
            > > beforehand. Again, using only their right hand,
            > > the musicians would play the tune exactly as they
            > > had memorized it, only this time accompanied through
            > > headphones by a pre-recorded jazz quartet. When they
            > > were asked to improvise, the musicians listened to
            > > the same audio background, but they were free to
            > > spontaneously play whatever notes they wished.
            > >
            > > All of this was accomplished while the musicians
            > > lay on their backs with their heads and torsos
            > > inside an fMRI scanner and their knees bent upward.
            > > The plastic keyboard, which was shortened to fit
            > > inside the scanner and which had its magnetic parts
            > > removed for safety, rested on the musicians' knees.
            > > A mirror placed over the volunteers' eyes, together
            > > with the headphones, helped the musicians see and
            > > hear what they were playing. The resulting fMRI scans
            > > recorded the amount of change in neural activity -
            > > increases and decreases - between the improvised
            > > and memorized versions.
            > >
            > > Turning Off 'The Monitor'
            > >
            > > One notable finding was that the brain scans were
            > > nearly identical for the low-level and high-level
            > > forms of improvisation, thus supporting the
            > > researchers' hypothesis that the change in neural
            > > activity was due to creativity and not the complexity
            > > of the task. If the latter were the case, there would
            > > have been a more noticeable difference between the
            > > Scale and Jazz paradigms, since the Jazz paradigm was
            > > significantly more complex.
            > >
            > > Moreover, the researchers found that much of
            > > the change between improvisation and memorization
            > > occurred in the prefrontal cortex, the region of
            > > the frontal lobe of the brain that helps us think
            > > and problem-solve and that provides a sense of self.
            > > Interestingly, the large portion responsible for
            > > monitoring one's performance (dorsolateral prefrontal
            > > cortex) shuts down completely during improvisation,
            > > while the much smaller, centrally located region at
            > > the foremost part of the brain (medial prefrontal
            > > cortex) increases in activity. The medial prefrontal
            > > cortex is involved in self-initiated thoughts and
            > > behaviors, and is very active when a person describes
            > > an event that has happened to him or makes up a story.
            > > The researchers explain that, just as over-thinking
            > > a jump shot can cause a basketball player to fall out
            > > of the zone and perform poorly, the suppression of
            > > inhibitory, self-monitoring brain mechanisms helps
            > > to promote the free flow of novel ideas and impulses.
            > > While this brain pattern is unusual, it resembles the
            > > pattern seen in people when they are dreaming.
            > >
            > > Another unusual finding was that there was increased
            > > neural activity in each of the sensory areas
            > > during improvisation, including those responsible
            > > for touch, hearing and vision, despite the fact that
            > > there were no significant differences in what
            > > individuals were hearing, touching and seeing during
            > > both memorized and improvised conditions. "It's
            > > almost as if the brain ramps up its sensorimotor
            > > processing in order to be in a creative state," said
            > > Limb. The systems that regulate emotion were also
            > > engaged during improvisation.
            > >
            > > "One important thing we can conclude from this study
            > > is that there is no single creative area of the brain -
            > > no focal activation of a single area," said Braun.
            > > "Rather, when you move from either of the control
            > > tasks to improvisation, you see a strong and
            > > consistent pattern of activity throughout the brain
            > > that enables creativity."
            > >
            > > ------------ --------- -------
            > > Article adapted by Medical News Today from
            > > original press release.
            > > ------------ --------- -------
            > >
            > > NIDCD supports and conducts research and research
            > > training on the normal and disordered processes
            > > of hearing, balance, smell, taste, voice, speech a
            > > nd language and provides health information, based
            > > upon scientific discovery, to the public. For more
            > > information about NIDCD programs, see the Web site at
            > > http://www.nidcd. nih.gov/.
            > >
            > > The National Institutes of Health (NIH) -
            > > The Nation's Medical Research Agency - includes
            > > 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of
            > > the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.
            > > It is the primary federal agency for conducting
            > > and supporting basic, clinical, and translational
            > > medical research, and it investigates the causes,
            > > treatments, and cures for both common and rare
            > > diseases. For more information about NIH and its
            > > programs, visit http://www.nih. gov/.
            > >
            > > Source: Jennifer Wenger
            > > IH/National Institute on Deafness and Other
            > > Communication Disorders
            > >
            > >
            >




            Detailed profiles 4 marriage! Only at Shaadi.com Try it!
          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.