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Detailed review of: 

Creativity and the Brain




World Scientific, Singapore




Mario Tokoro and Ken Mogi




Creativity and the Brain


Year of Publication














Krishna B. Misra




Review published in IJPE, Vol. 6, No. 1, January 2010, p. 82.

The book consists of 7 chapters followed by a summing up by Editors as follows:


Preface by Mario Tokoro, President, and Ken Mogi, Senior Researcher, Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc.

  4 Pages

List of  Contributors


Chapter 1

A Genius Within - Allan Snyder

 16 Pages 

Chapter 2

A Story of Brain Clocks - Ernest Poeppel

 23 Pages

Chapter 3

In Search of Achilles' Heel - Hiroaki Kitano

 13 Pages

Chapter 4

Do Infants Dream of Baby Sheep? - Philippe Rochat

 19 Pages

Chapter 5

Baby Talk - Nobuo Masataka

 16 Pages

Chapter 6

Dr. Jackyl, Mr. Hyde and Qualia - Ken Mogi

 23 Pages

Chapter 7

Computer and Creativity - Luc Steels

  9 Pages

Dialog by Editors

 17 Pages



 3 Pages


The editors of the book from Sony Computer Science Laboratory must be complimented in producing a book that comprises the presentations made by world's leading scientists and researchers in the area of creativity at a workshop held in a castle near Bologna, Italy from April 27-30, 2004.
Creativity and the Brain

In the world of globalizations, nations and individuals leading in creativity shall rule the roost. Human creativity is a process of brain activity. With the advancements in the measurement of brain activity with the help of electroencephalography (EEG), electromyography (EMG) and functional Magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), it is now possible to improve human creativity. Prof. Allan Snyder- a brain scientist claims that creativity can be improved by electromagnetically stimulating the left side of the brain. He believes the major challenge for future is build devices that will amplify a person's creativity. Prof. Ernst Poeppel, of Germany, theorizes that light travels fast in air but slows down significantly once inside one's brain. Sound waves on the other hand travel slow in air, but move very fast inside one's brain. So Olympic champions in ping pong must have good ears rather than good eyes. His another hypothesis is what humans call instantaneous has temporal duration of 3 secs.  Every cell in the human body obeys or is modulated by the circadian clock which makes us learn fast between 10 a.m. to noon but we can learn fast between 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Every physiological function is characterized by the oscillations in 24 hrs. Some interesting findings such as 30-milliseconds separation is necessary between two stimuli. Dr. Hiroaki Kitano hypotheses the use of concept of robustness to the problem of consciousness. The cells in brain system demonstrate a high potency that they can turn into any kind of cell. Development is the process of differential inhibition of potency. As brain develops, the cells lose power to turn into something else. Their functions become fixed. This is a tradeoff between potency and excessive functions. The mindset may be the formation of a robust invariant and would be building block of cognition.

Creativity is probably an expression of this concept and to have creativity, it may be necessary to have core process as fixed. There is knowledge tradeoff because formation of mindset impairs creativity. Prof. Philippe Rochat believes that a major bottleneck to creativity is self consciousness which is the understanding or awareness of being evaluated and perceived by others. There are interesting presentations by Prof. Nobio Masataka and Ken Mogi. Ken Mogi feels that the brain is creative whereas computers are not. According a study of middle temporal area (MT) which is responsible for motion perception, he found that 30 % of the neural activity in terms of the stimulus, the remaining 70% was the noise. On the other hand if even 0.1 % spontaneous activity in the computer will cause it malfunction or breakdown.

The book makes an interesting reading for all, right from scientists to those curious to understand human creativity. It is a bold step forward in the direction of knowing and improving creativity. More so for the performability engineers as creativity greatly influences performability.

                                                          Krishna B. Misra 


Review published in the International Journal of Performability Engineering, Vol. 6, No. 1, January 2010, p. 62.


This review was published in the International Journal of Performability Engineering, Vol. 6, No. 1, January 2010 issue on page 62.

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