In its perpetual capacity to imagine, create and revisit artifacts and representations, human mind is the perfect example of generativity. Yet if we agree with Epstein (1996)’s theory of generativity, new ideas result from interconnections among old ones. That is, cultural knowledge heavily influences our individual minds. In this line, our minds need meeting other minds to generate innovation. I will argue in this article that the basis of a generative meeting between minds is imitation. This proposal is developed against the well-established reputation of imitation as an idiotic behaviour stifling creativity.


imitation generativity flexibility development brain dynamics 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacqueline Nadel
    • 1
  1. 1.La Salpêtrière HospitalCNRS Centre Emotion, Pierre & Marie Curie University, ICMParisFrance

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