A composer and a neuroscientist unravel the story of human creativity
By Stephanie Bastek
December 15, 2017
This week, Anthony Brandt and David Eagleman talk about the science (and practice) of creating new things. We share a lot with the other sentient beings on this planet—love, hunger, death, joy, family, jealousy, rage. There’s one thing, though, we do that other species, for whatever reason, do not: we innovate. We create. And we do so in a symbiotic way with other humans, building and improving on one another’s ideas until suddenly we’ve all got a supercomputer in our back pockets. So what’s at the heart of human creativity? Where does it come from, how does it work, and how can we get better at harnessing our own ingenuity?
Go beyond the episode:
- The Runaway Species by Anthony Brandt and David Eagleman
- Want to learn more about your gray matter? Watch David Eagleman’s PBS series The Brain
- Listen to Maternity, an oratorio for soprano and orchestra, the authors’ first collaboration
Images from The Runaway Species illustrating some key concepts:
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Stephanie Bastek is the associate editor of the Scholar and the producer/host of the Smarty Pants podcast.