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The Neuroscience of Creativity


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Table of Contents

1. What is creativity?; 2. How can creativity be assessed?; 3. Cognitive explanations of creativity; 4. Brain-based global explanations of creativity; 5. Brain-based local explanations of creativity; 6. Neuroscientific methods in the study of creativity; 7. Unique problems in the neuroscientific study of creativity; 8. Musical creativity; 9. Literary creativity; 10. Visual artistic creativity; 11. Kinesthetic creativity; 12. Scientific creativity; Afterword - from cave art to latte art.

Promotional Information

Discover how the creative brain works across musical, literary, visual artistic, kinesthetic and scientific spheres, and how to study it.

About the Author

Anna Abraham is a professor of psychology at the School of Social Sciences of Leeds Beckett University. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, the Salzburg Global Seminar, and the Higher Education Academy. She is also a Member of the International Society for Fiction and Fictionality Studies, the Association for Psychological Science, the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, and the American Psychological Association's Division 10: Society for the Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts. Abraham edited the 2015 book Madness and Creativity: Yes, No or Maybe? and has authored numerous publications on the human imagination.


'This work is a scientific tour-de-force, which shatters the established methods of parochialism, tribalism, and solipsism that permeate scientific inquiry. Dr Abraham has re-established the normative standards of curiosity, rigor, and keen scepticism that this field so desperately needs, and so deservedly warrants. Her book is the new standard on how creativity is manifested in the human brain.' Rex Jung, University of New Mexico
'The brilliance of this book is its balance. Abraham is the foremost experimental neuroscientist working on creativity and she manages to do the seemingly impossible in this book: provide a clear-headed and evenly-keeled analysis of the state of affairs in the field. If you want to know where we stand on the neuroscience of creativity, this is the book to get.' Arne Dietrich, American University Beirut, Lebanon
'Anna Abraham, one of the foremost scholars of the creative brain, has written a genuinely indispensable book. Comprehensive and insightful, it's an essential text for the quickly growing field of creativity neuroscience.' Paul J. Silvia, University of North Carolina, Greensboro
'Neuroscience of Creativity is the right book at the right time by the right person. One of the people to successfully straddle neuroscience and creativity, Abraham is a special position to cover this vast and growing topic. She is able to take complicated concepts and break them down with clear language and fascinating examples.' James C. Kaufman, University of Connecticut
'This refreshing book provides a fascinating, nuanced overview of an emerging field that needs to be read by both scientists and non-scientists alike. Dr Abraham addresses not only that which is already clear, but also the many gray zones that demand further clarification as we examine the great significance of the human brain in creativity.' Charles J. Limb, University of California, San Francisco
'In this excellent book, the noted neuroscientist Anna Abraham explains everything currently known about creativity and the brain - from theory to latest empirical advancements - in a comprehensive, well-structured, engaging and critical way. An ideal resource for students, scholars and everybody aiming for a well-founded understanding of the neuroscience of creativity.' Mathias Benedek, University of Graz, Austria
'In this outstanding contribution, Anna Abraham excellently examines neuroscientific research into creativity. She ignites interest and facilitates understanding by placing theories in their relevant contexts with fresh and classical examples throughout. This book is a must for neuroscience researchers and a profound resource for every serious creativity scholar.' Ingegerd Carlsson, Lund University, Sweden
'This volume provides a solid framework that enables readers to understand the latest in the neuroscience of creativity and gives researchers further tools for advancing this exciting new field.' Scott Barry Kaufman, Co-author of Wired to Create: Unravelling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind
'It occupies a useful and necessary niche, with distinction. Of all the books I have recently read on the neuroscience of creativity (even beyond those reviewed here), it is a clear first choice as a prospective classroom text for this intersection of topics.' Aaron Kozbelt, Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture

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