There is evidence to show that walking is a great way to encourage creative thought.
Now, hot off the presses, we might soon learn that any type of random body movement might have the same effect.
I recently interviewed Prof Angus Fletcher, whose team is studying how narrative creativity is built in the brain, for an upcoming episode of the Idea to Value podcast.
According to his research, there are areas in the brain’s motor cortex which are involved in narrative and storybuilding. This includes taking a new along a logical journey, much like how children make up stories and adventures, but also how engineers might think through the logical implications of a future change.
Interestingly, the motor cortex is best known for its involvement in planning and controlling our muscle movements. So Prof Fletcher suggests that the opposite may also be true. Making unexpected muscle movements, or any major muscle movements at all, can trigger the motor cortex, and as a result also put the brain in a state where it is better at developing these narrative ideas.
This might be why when we are not moving much, such as when we are sitting at our desk, creative thought is often harder than when we are moving.
So if you are ever finding your creative energies low, maybe stand up and just start moving.
Touch your elbow to your foot.
It might just result in your getting that next great idea.
Keep an eye out for the upcoming podcast to learn more about this exciting research.
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