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RE: [Meditation Society of America] When Creativity Arises The Inner Chatterer Shuts Off

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  • 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 1 of 4 , Feb 28, 2008
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      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
      > >
      > >
      >




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