Expert to uncover the science of fertile minds

MIKE MATHER
Last updated 05:00 08/04/2014
Nancy Andreasen
MATTER OF MIND: World leading expert in creativity and neuroscience Nancy Andreasen will speak at Creative Waikato today about what happens to the brain when we make use of our imaginations.

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What is creativity?

What is happening in the brain when it is being creative? And how can creativity be enhanced or nurtured - or can it?

These questions and more may be answered today at Creative Waikato when Nancy Andreasen, a world-renowned expert in creativity and neuroscience, presents two seminars.

The first, at 1pm, focuses on creativity and mood disorders. It will be followed at 5.30pm by a seminar that investigates how creativity is related to intelligence.

The capacity to be creative, to produce new concepts, ideas, inventions, objects, or art, is perhaps the most important attribute of the human brain. Yet, as Andreasen points out, we know very little about the neurological nature of creativity.

Andreasen is the chair of psychiatry at the University of Iowa's College of Medicine and the author of two acclaimed books on mental illness, including The Broken Brain.

Securing the former English professor turned psychiatrist to speak was a boon for Hamilton, Creative Waikato chief executive Sarah Nathan said.

"We are stoked to be hosting someone of Nancy's calibre.

"Creative Waikato has an important role to play as a conduit for the creative sector and this is an example of how well it's working. This event is the result of a relationship Creative Waikato has developed with the Creative Thinking Project, who are based at the University of Auckland, and we are pretty chuffed to be on the circuit with Auckland Art Gallery and Te Papa.

"Last week we had a call from a senior practitioner at Waikato Hospital who had received our e-newsletter," Nathan said.

"He asked: ‘How the heck did you get Nancy to Hamilton? She is a really, really big fish', and finished the conversation by saying ‘Thanks for being such a great connector in the community'. That kept us smiling all week." mike.mather@waikatotimes.co.nz

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