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The Wiley Handbook of Genius by Dean Keith Simonton

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6 The Neuroscience of Creative Genius

Nancy C. Andreasen and Kanchna Ramchandran

What Is Neuroscience?

Neuroscience is a relatively young field, although its roots run back into the late 19th- and early 20th-century eras, when Broca and Wernicke began localizing language functions, and Golgi and Nissl and Ramon y Cajal developed techniques for staining neurons and examining their functional roles at the cellular level. But neuroscience as we currently know it – a massive field that integrates the study of the brain across levels that stretch from molecules to cells to circuits to systems to behavior and cognition to translational studies of disease – had its decisive inception when the Society for Neuroscience was founded in 1969. It has now grown to become one of the world's most powerful and influential scientific societies, with a membership of approximately 40,000 people, a high-impact journal, and an influential presence for advocacy and public outreach. The maturation of neuroscience has recently led to the creation of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies Initiative at the recommendation of the US government, allocating $100 million in funding to “unlock the mysteries of the brain.” While physics and genetics were the premier sciences of the 20th century, neuroscience has established itself as a premier science of the 21st century.

What Tools from Neuroscience Can Be Used to Study Creativity?

Neuroscience can provide a variety of tools ...

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