Interesting Brain Stuff!

Photo: dailyactor.com

This is Tania Ahlfeldt and we’re talking creativity

I was reading a piece written by actor Nick Nolte
he was discussing the creative process with regards to acting
and he summed it up something like this.
There was an experiment done with mice.
The scientists were trying to find out how mice grew
dendrites in the brain.
Now dendrites function as “antennae”, they serve as the main apparatus
for receiving signals from other nerve cells.
The experiment was to find out what conditions caused
the brain to really grow.
So they took one mouse and put him in a cage and gave him
everything he wanted.
The second mouse they gave everything but he had
to run on a treadmill.
The third mouse they put him in a cage and twice a week they took him out and put him through a maze.
This maze was quite something, he had to go up a pole and he’d be twenty feet above a tub of water, they put a lot of edge into it.
One these mice died they MRI’d their brains and afterward studied the dendrite growth.
The mouse who had everything didn’t grow a single dendrite!
The mouse who walked the treadmill grew dendrites but didn’t connect them.
The mice that had to survive the maze grew a lot of dendrites
and connected them all!
The fact that he had to embrace uncertainty was actually a creative process.
Nick Nolte felt that everytime he took on a new role,
the uncertainty and fear he faced – the fact that he could fail is what grew him creatively.
Many of us never grow creatively as the fear of failure stops us in our tracks
and keeps us on our couches.

This is Tania Ahlfeldt and I’m trying to get off my couch!

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