Electrode-Wearing Writer May Reveal Neurological Roots of Creativity

Picture: Michael Neagle (C)

Picture: Michael Neagle (C)

Dutch novelist Arnon Grunberg is participating in a neuroscience experiment that will shed some light on how art is created and experienced:

New York Times:

Over the past two weeks, Mr. Grunberg has spent several hours a day writing his novella, while a battery of sensors and cameras tracked his brain waves, heart rate, galvanic skin response (an electrical measure of emotional arousal) and facial expressions. Next fall, when the book is published, some 50 ordinary people in the Netherlands will read it under similarly controlled circumstances, sensors and all.

Researchers will then crunch the data in the hope of finding patterns that may help illuminate links between the way art is created and enjoyed, and possibly the nature of creativity itself.

“Will readers of Arnon’s text feel they understand or embody the same emotions he had while he was writing it, or is reading a completely different process?” said Ysbrand van der Werf, a researcher at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience and the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, who designed the experiment with Jan van Erp of the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research. “These are some of the questions we want to answer.”

Keep reading.

5 Comments on "Electrode-Wearing Writer May Reveal Neurological Roots of Creativity"

  1. The Well Dressed Man | Dec 2, 2013 at 7:37 pm |

    Cool. Can we add a double blind study for content creators and consumers who use the same recreational chemicals?

  2. If that rig doesn’t measure quantum entanglement, I think they’re going to be SOL.

  3. Rhoid Rager | Dec 3, 2013 at 12:49 am |

    “and possibly the nature of creativity itself” Glad to see that humility is still going strong in institutional science.

  4. kowalityjesus | Dec 3, 2013 at 2:33 am |

    The day they ‘solve’ Van Gogh is the day that Mysticism has an Oprah special.

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