Prototyping and NeuroCreativity – a promising cocktail

So yesterday I went to the opening of the Copenhagen Institute of Neurocreativity (CINC). It is founded by the two pleasant guys Balder Onarheim, Creativity Researcher and Morten Friis-Olivarius specialist in NeuroCreativity. They have for several years witnessed a lack of knowledge on creativity in industries and organizations to day.

It seems like people think creativity is something for an enlighted minority. Our research shows that creativity can be practiced and facilitated when putting the right methods into play, Morten Friis-Olivarius

Therefore the aim of CINC is to create a catalogue of discoveries that can help facilitate new ways of approaching creativity on an individual and organizational level.

NeuroCreativity – what’s the fuzz?

The word NeuroCreativity covers the field of trying to understand creative processes, by analyzing the brain activity while being creative.

Who will move the floating ball on the side of the competitor just by the power of thoughts?
An institute of neurocreativity must of course have a brain-activity game!


The knowledge behind CINC’s method are all research based. Eg. Morten Friis-Olivarius made a study that seeked to predict test-persons ability to think divergent (get as many ideas as possible). By showing the participants a number of random pictures and by analyzing their brain activity while being shown these pictures the researchers were able to predict the participants ability to think divergent in a idea generation process afterwards.

These findings are really interesting since it implies for a correlation between which prototypes a person is exposed to and their ability to be creative eg. in a product development process.

It is all about breaking association patterns

Our thinking patterns in the brain are networks of associations that makes one stimuli such as “apple” create tracks on to several associations as “pie”, “tree”, “Steve Jobs” etc.  The human brain is kind of lazy though and seeks to use as little energy as possible. It suppress the associations that doesn’t seem necessary in the moment. In our every day life it makes sense since we otherwise would be overloaded with irrelevant thoughts, but in a creative process our mind can constrain us too much if we are suppressing the associations and prevent us from having new and innovative ideas.

Hence it is all about being aware of your association patterns and learning tools to break down these thinking paths. Prototypes are one of the tools to do exactly that since it can challenge the creative practitioner to think in different patterns than usual. Prototypes have been used for several years, but the interesting part is that you now with neurocreativity potentially could argue which prototypes are working and which are not. It provides a traditionally rather fluffy domain with quantified arguments of it’s worth – that’s really something!

If you are more interested in these topics I really recommend you to visit CINC at Borups Allé 29, 2200 Copenhagen – at least just for trying out their brain activity game.



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