Without imagination, there can be no creativity.
Cognitive and affective processes common to both imagination and creativity, advancing the argument that the former enables the latter in conjunction.
With other personal factors such as expertise, personality, and motivation, as well as environmental support.
Imagination refers broadly to the human capacity to construct a mental representation of that which is not currently present to the senses.
We engage in imaginative thought both intentionally and unintentionally and both solitarily and collectively.
While imagination helps us understand the mechanism by which we are able to be creative, creativity is a chief reason why imaginative thinking is important and valuable.
These two constructs together may enrich our appreciation of each.
As we continue to build an integrative understanding of the relationship between imagination and creativity, and the biological, mental, and cultural factors that support each…
There are many forms of imagination… But thoughts about space… It’s just eternal pleasure. Inspirational quote:
Thoughts about space — eternal pleasure.
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We believe that some of the most important questions for neuroscientists and psychologists to investigate are:
- What is the mechanism by which the mental experience of imaginative thought translates into the culturally relative demonstration of creativity?
- How does variability among individuals in proclivity for engaging in imaginative thought impact the imagination–creativity relationship?
- How might this relationship be impacted by variability among cultures in terms of what is considered novel and useful?
- How might an understanding of the different networks (especially the default mode network executive attention network, and salience network) that subserve different processes involved in imaginative thought and creativity support our understanding of how these diverse skills are related to one another?
- How does imagination differ across domains?
- How might an understanding of domain-specific imaginative abilities help us understand varying profiles of creative talent and differences in creativity across different fields?
- How might we support individuals in more frequently and successfully harnessing their imaginative abilities toward creative ends?
- How might we create educational and cultural institutions that teach individuals skills and inspire motivation to turn imagination into creativity?
- How will society change as youths are supported in transforming their imagination into creativity?
Across social-emotional and temporal domains, there are a number of forms of imaginative thought:
Including perspective-taking, identity construction, constructive internal reflection, thinking informed by an understanding of multiple cultures, pretend play, prospection, memory construction, counterfactual thinking, and mind-wandering.
A network composed of several brain regions along the midline of the brain in the frontal and parietal lobes, including the medial prefrontal cortex, medial parietal cortex, lateral parietal cortex, and regions within the medial and lateral temporal cortex.
Other forms of imagination that involve visualizing physical objects or physical space are thought to recruit more heavily the brain’s executive attention network and dorsal attention network.
A network involving communication between the frontal eye fields and the intraparietal sulcus.
An understanding of the brain networks that support imaginative thought can help elucidate the confines of the imagination construct.
Regardless of the specific largescale brain network interactions involved with specific forms of imagination.
We see a unifying theme across all of these imaginative cognitive and emotional processes – the capacity to see in one’s mind what is not present – which serves as a critical foundation for creative thinking.
Like imagination, creativity involves thinking about content that is removed from the here and now.
It can be a messy process characterized by the harmonizing of seemingly contradictory ways of thinking or being.
Like imagination, creativity in the social domain is thought to be supported by the default mode network, because of its role in the development of “originality” – or the mental representation of novel ideas.
The executive attention network, on the other hand, is important for making plans and keeping track of strategies employed while pursuing a creative goal.
Eternity is in love with the productions of imagination.
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People exhibit creativity in big and small ways:
We can engage in creativity that is personally meaningful and useful in our everyday lives or creativity that helps us learn new ideas and concepts.
Some individuals pursue creative endeavors professionally, even producing works that change the thoughts and behaviors of groups and society.
Creativity is rarer than imagination, as it demands both usefulness and a good sense of the audience – knowing when to be original and when to conform to societal conventions.
It also requires enough domain-specific knowledge to gauge how well-received one’s idea will be by a given audience.
Therefore, researchers have proposed that the creative process be divided into two main phases: the generation phase, through which imagination enables the relatively unconstrained invention of ideas, and the exploration phase, in which those ideas are evaluated and refined.
It is apparent, however, that creativity depends on imagination and so is essential for it.
We turn now to exploring specific cases of the imagination–creativity relationship.
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