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The Creating Brain: The Neuroscience of Genius | [Nancy C. Andreasen]

The Creating Brain: The Neuroscience of Genius

In a fascinating tour of creativity and the brain, Nancy Andreasen, professor of psychiatry at the University of Iowa and the winner of the National Medal of Science, explores how the human brain achieves creative breakthroughs--in art, literature, music, and science--the role of genes and environment, extraordinary creativity vs. ordinary creativity, and the question of genius and insanity.
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Publisher's Summary

In a fascinating tour of creativity and the brain, Nancy Andreasen, professor of psychiatry at the University of Iowa and the winner of the National Medal of Science, explores how the human brain achieves creative breakthroughs--in art, literature, music, and science--the role of genes and environment, extraordinary creativity vs. ordinary creativity, and the question of genius and insanity.

She examines what extraordinary creators have said about creating and how their insights reflect particular qualities of creative people, and she includes her fascinating interview with the playwright Neil Simon, in which he described how his mind and brain work. This book offers insight into what creates the creative brain as well as advice to nurture creativity in both children and adults.

©2005 Nancy C. Andreasen; (P)2008 Dana Press

What the Critics Say

"Our leading authority on creativity reveals herself with this splendid book as one of the most valuably creative persons of our time." (Kurt Vonnegut)
"The author's passion and admiration for creative genius and the arts...is evidenced in her exploration...vividly describe[s] mental activities that are anything but ordinary." (Publisher's Weekly)

What Members Say

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  •  
    William Waterloo, ON, Canada 10-20-08
    William Waterloo, ON, Canada 10-20-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Well written history of creativity"

    The author has an amazing story of overcoming obstacles and earning a PHd and a MD. I liked the book it was well written. I did think this book would have had more neuroscience in it. I was expecting a Golemanesque (Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence) type of book with detailed descriptions of functional brain system and the latest research. The book had a little of this.

    The book includes an excellent history of the science of creativity, which I thought was interesting and worth reading. The author talks at length about some creative people like DaVinci and other artists, which was well done.

    However I did think the mixture of literary criticism with a little bit neuroscience was a bit haphazard at times. I would have preferred a more in depth approach to the brain science of creativity. Which would talk about specific brain systems instead of trying to merge art, history, literary criticism, and neuroscience. Even though the author's intent is to show that such a synthesis is in itself creative.

    I still recommend you listen to it because while I was reading the book I had a creative explosion in my mind, turned off my ipod and sat on a park bench for 2 hours scribbling some notes about an idea I thought was novel. Check it out.

    19 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larry in Albany, NY 05-12-09 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Nothing new so I stopped listening"

    I stopped listening after the first three chapters because I hadn't learned anything new. Most the material covered there had been written about many times in the past, including the profile of the creative types and the introspective reports on creativity from Morart and others. I was hoping for something new, but didn't find it before I gave up.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Toronto, ON, Canada 06-28-10
    Laura Toronto, ON, Canada 06-28-10
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    "A Big Disappointment"

    I went into this with low expectations, and I was still disappointed. Not only does the author misunderstand the meaning of some key concepts (e.g., heritability), she also presents lots of controversial research without appropriate discussion. Also, the book reads as a little "self-helpy". Furthermore, the reader announces every single syllable, causing her to mispronounce some of them. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zaldy Chicago, IL, United States 10-06-13
    Zaldy Chicago, IL, United States 10-06-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Finally a study focusing in creativity"

    As an architect, musician and many other things, this book was an instant interest to me and the content versus its cost is a real treat. I am eager to get a hold of the unabridged version. Well structured and easy to understand plus very practical exercises to promote a culture of creative thinking and habits. I recommend this book to people who wants to know what is behind creative people or their proficiency to be creative and to those who wants to discover or awaken their inborn capacities in any or every field humans could excel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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