How Creativity Works in the Brain: Insights from a Santa Fe Working Group

July 1st, 2015 | RESEARCH

What is the anatomy of an “aha” moment? How and why did we evolve to have such experiences? Can we prime ourselves to have them more often? Why should we care? These and similar questions were the recent focus of a cross-cutting investigation by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in partnership with the Santa Fe Institute (SFI). On July 9-10, 2014, the NEA and SFI cosponsored a meeting titled “The Nature of Creativity in the Brain.” Held at SFI in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the meeting engaged a 15-member working group to perform two tasks: (a) evaluate the legacy of creativity research; and (b) explore new knowledge at the intersections of cognitive psychology, neurobiology, learning, complex systems, and the arts. Collectively representing all these fields, working group members met just as large public-private investments were starting to converge on basic neuroscience research—notably through the White House’s Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. The timing of the Santa Fe inquiry thus gave it a national policy dimension. By understanding the cognitive components of creativity, where they reside in human neurophysiology, and how they might be fostered for all Americans, the public will be poised better to articulate and monitor the importance of creativity research in relation to broader neuroscientific investments.


(no document provided)

Team Members

Art Works, Contributor
National Endowment for the Arts, Contributor

Related URLs

Full Text


Audience: Educators | Teachers | Museum | ISE Professionals | Scientists
Discipline: Art | music | theater
Resource Type: Reference Materials | Report
Environment Type: Professional Development | Conferences | Networks | Professional Development and Workshops