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How Isaac Newton and the “salience network” can unleash your creativity

Key Takeaways from the Article:

  • Genius requires doing something new, often achieved by breaking away from customary thought processes.
  • The brain's "salience network" signals when things are not proceeding as expected, allowing a fresh perspective on situations.
  • The first step toward insight is stepping away from the "House of Habit" and embracing experiences that disrupt routine.
  • Examples of breakthrough moments include Archimedes discovering displacement in a bath and Newton realizing gravity under an apple tree.
  • The default mode network (DMN) and the salience network play crucial roles in these moments, disrupting habitual patterns for new insights.
  • The salience network reallocates neural fuel, signaling prediction errors and allowing for updates and new perspectives.
  • Frontotemporal dementia (FTD), which affects the salience network, highlights its role in mediating habits and adapting to new knowledge.
  • The article suggests that embracing sensation and disrupting habitual patterns can lead to radical shifts in creativity and problem-solving.
  • The escape from conventional perspectives has been a common trait in both brilliant scientists and serious artists throughout history.

Discussion (1)

samuraisteph profile image

Whenever I get an artist block, the best way to jumpstart creativity is to do something I’ve never done before. I tend to get into these routines, which is great for optimizing productivity but terrible for my creativity. I started blocking off time in the day to just do anything that I feel like doing , as weird or silly as it is. I find that gives me routine but also freedom to explore things creatively.