How Alcohol Inspires Creativity
Researchers found that men who drank vodka cranberries performed better on standard creativity tests than those who didn't. If you want to think differently, getting tipsy might help.
What's the Latest Development?
In a study of 40 young men, scientists found that those given vodka cranberry drinks performed better on a standard creativity test than those who stayed sober. Published in Consciousness and Cognition, the research looked at alcohol's influence on people's creativity as measured by the 'Remote Associates Test', a word association game. Drinkers "correctly solved 58% of the problems, compared with 42% for the sober group, and they came up with the right answers nearly four seconds faster on each question. Being drunk improved performance by about 30%."
What's the Big Idea?
Science continues to confirm that altered states of consciousness, whether induced by alcohol, drugs, sleepiness or travel, improve our capacity for creative thought. When we remove ourselves from our usual way of seeing the world, we inhibit what is called 'executive functioning' in our brain, processes that involve focus and planning. While executive functioning can keep us focused on the task at hand, it can also inhibit our capacity for finding innovative solutions. Scientists remind us, however, that creativity is excited by getting tipsy, not drunk.
Photo credit: shutterstock.com
Lumina Foundation is partnering with Big Think to unearth the next large-scale, rapid innovation in post-high school education. Enter the competition here!
Two space agencies plan missions to deflect an asteroid.
- NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) are working together on missions to a binary asteroid system.
- The DART and Hera missions will attempt to deflect and study the asteroid Didymoon.
- A planetary defense system is important in preventing large-scale catastrophes.
Some books had a profound influence on Einstein's thinking and theories.
- Einstein had a large library and was a voracious reader.
- The famous physicist admitted that some books influenced his thinking.
- The books he preferred were mostly philosophical and scientific in nature.
Soon, parents may be able to prescribe music to their kids to help them focus.
- Instead of prescribing medications to kids with ADD or ADHD, Clark and his team at Brain.fm are looking to music as another option for treatment.
- Through a grant from the National Science Foundation, the company is developing music that features "neural-phase locking" — a combination of different principles that create specific characteristics in the brain, such as increased concentration or relaxation.
- As long as they're listening to the music, the neural phase-locking aspect of Brain.fm's tunes has the potential to keep people focused.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.