A Disciplined Demolition Project

  • Arne Dietrich


In response to “Hey Yogi, I think we are lost,” Yogi Berra, former player and general manager of the New York Yankees once said: “Yeah, but we are making great time.” It’s hard to think of a more fitting depiction, in my view, for the present-day, ill-conceived efforts to identify the mechanisms of creativity in the brain. Let me come right out and say it: It’s phrenology. Neuroanatomically upgraded phrenology perhaps, but still phrenology. To be fair, studying creative thinking in the lab, under tightly controlled conditions, isn’t the easiest way to make a living as a neuroscientist. Even for the wilderness of human thinking, creative ideas seem to be deliberately designed to defy empirical inquiry. There is something elusive, perhaps even sacred, about them. They come as they please — often with a resounding Homer Simpson DOH quality — and there is little you can do to force their appearance. Lucky those who have them.


Left Hemisphere Creative Thinking Right Hemisphere Alpha Power Divergent Thinking 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Recommended readings

  1. Dietrich, A. (2004b). The cognitive neuroscience of creativity. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 11, 1011–1026.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Arne Dietrich 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arne Dietrich
    • 1
  1. 1.American University of BeirutLebanon

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