CREAM

CReativity Enhancement through Advanced brain Mapping and stimulation

Main idea behind this project:

Current ICT technology provides new capabilities to measure the functional activity of the brain and to compute in real-time stimuli that can be applied to the brain itself in order to train and modify its activity. This new frontier of research is made possible by a dramatic increase in cheap computing power, novel design methodologies for high-performance software, integrated circuits and systems for sensors and actuators, and algorithms and software environments for collaborative interaction of people cooperating on solving a specific problem.

This project will explore the consequences of exploiting these novel technologies in a deliberate attempt to improve a higher-order task such as creativity.

Creativity is hard to define, even harder to measure. It is multifaceted, has multilevel components, and is further a multidimensional construct. Therefore any attempt for a unitary definition of creativity would be futile, if not impossible. Nevertheless, our predominant approach is process-centric i.e. we consider that creativity is fundamentally a property of a process (as in a “creative act”). The exhibition of that property may then, in common parlance, be transferred to the organism or machine that is executing the process (as in a “creative person”) or its product (as in a “creative novel”). A major advantage of taking the process view is that it begins to demystify creativity itself, simply because value is traditionally attributed to a created product or artefact only after its achievement and societal acceptance, and further, value varies with many uncontrollable factors including tradition, time and culture ; therefore, success, and the associated social pedestals on which “famous creators” are often placed, become less relevant; it is the attempt, not product, that counts (though we do not entirely discard the product-centric approach of creativity).