Imagination is a relatively complex concept. This is an element that some individuals seem to have in spades which others seem to lack entirely. It’s hard to identify on precisely what imagination is certainly, but what we do realise is that it is preferable and can help you to take joy in yourself in your everyday life. Individuals with very good imaginations are unpredictable, creative, and exciting for being around. Whereas individuals without any imagination have the tendency to be takened as ‘dull’.
The actuality, of course, is that all of us have imaginations. The only real distinction is the method which we use them and just how much we opt to cultivate them. So, what exactly is taking place inside that old brain of yours when you do decide to put your imagination to work, and how can you get more from it?
The Neuroscience of Creativity
As a general rule, it’s thought that creative thinking is the end result of finding connections between diverse ideas. That is to say that there’s really no such thing as an entirely authentic idea but, rather, that our primary breakthroughs stem from combining current ideas into something new.
This is easiest to accomplish when we are not stressed. When you are stressed out or focused, you often tend to focus only on something very precisly. When you relax, alternatively, this helps your brain to check out the more popular connections of your neurons and synapses: your ‘connectome’.When your mind is allowed to wander, that’s when you get new ideas.
Simultaneously, imagination also springs from visualization. As you imagine a new story, a new personality, or a new situation, this will often involve imagining it in your mind’s eye. More recent research now tells us that this happens in a brain region called the ‘posterior parietal cortex’. This area of the brain is important, not only for thinking of new ideas and visualizing them, but also for helping us to plan movements before we act and to relive memories as part of our ‘declarative memory’. Puts simply, this crucial area of our human brain is what permits us to reason abstractly and to plan, predict, and remember. This is an absolutely key tool, which gives you much more need to stretch those imaginative muscles! It additionally suggests that doing anything that involves planning ahead or expecting outcomes, including playing a sport, could, theoretically, help your imagination!