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Imagination, Creativity and the human brain

Creativity & imagination

“What we imagine hearing can change what we actually see, and what we imagine seeing can change what we actually hear.”

pictured above: A drawing inspired by one of Draw Sound’s creature sounds.

“We often think about the things we imagine and the things we perceive as being clearly dissociable. However, what this study shows is that our imagination of a sound or a shape changes how we perceive the world around us in the same way actually hearing that sound or seeing that shape does. Specifically, we found that what we imagine hearing can change what we actually see, and what we imagine seeing can change what we actually hear.”

Christopher Berger – Current Biology

Have you ever been told that you have an ‘active imagination’?

Our imagination is one of the most useful tools humans have at their disposal, although very little is known about what it does or how it really works.

What we do know is that everything that was ever created in the history of the world started in someone’s imagination.

Children have a vivid imagination, and scientists believe it is to do with the brain developing different parts of neural networks that fire together, called ‘mental synthesis.’

This may explain why, in later life, we can imagine something that we have never encountered in real life.

Can you imagine what a pink elephant looks like? You probably can.

It’s not surprising, then, that imagination can affect what we see and hear.

One research study found that sensory information from one sense distorts or changes a person’s perception of another sense.

Imagination is incredibly powerful because it’s essentially creativity in action.

What scientists have found is that imagination lights up large areas of the brain, creating an interconnecting network of activity across diffrerent areas.

“Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and, therefore, the foundation of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared.”

– J K Rowling

Imagination uses the whole brain, rather than isolated parts, so it can be a great way to extend ourselves beyond that which we are currently capable of.

Draw Sounds is a great way to encourage the use of imagination through listening to sounds, imagining shapes, and drawing them.

Spark your imagination today!