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Silence fosters creativity

Silence is more important than you think.

The study of silence first happened by accident. Researched compared silence at first as a baseline to other sounds. (As reported by Rebecca Bear for Lifehack.org.)

Physician Luciano Bernardi explored silence in his research on music. When inserting randomly stretches of silence, the pauses induced a relaxing effect. Even compared to even the most relaxing music. Observing sensory processing at the University of Oregon in 2010, Michael Wehr found that both sound and silence signal change to neurons. When sound or silence is sustained it’s viewed by the brain as inactive.

Taking space from connecting with others may help encourage creative thought. Meditation including silence benefits critical thinking as argued to the paper “Reflectivity, Creativity, and the Space for Silence”, by Jane Dawson of St Francis Xavier University:

“The role of creative expression, as with the role of critical reflection, is to uncover them, and help us understand them more deeply. And creativity, like thought, takes quiet time and a sense of space to encounter it with our full attention.”

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Imagine You're 7 Years Old: Quick Tip 5

Try this: Imagine you're a 7 year old. Children playing is filled with curiosity. They haven't learned the stock responses of adults. Ask yourself what a kid would do in this situation. In one psychological experiment, college volunteers were asked what they'd do if school was cancelled for the day. A second group was given the added idea to "imagine themselves as a 7-year-old". The group asked to think like a kid had more original ideas. Those who were tested as introverted, more inhibited, and less spontaneous were especially more creatively original. Details of this research were published in the ... Read more

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Bowie State University offering a Hip-Hop Minor Program

One of the things I loved the culture and curriculum at Bowie State. For Fine and Performing Arts majors, we had to take courses on the history of people of color, women, subcultures. For a creative, surrounding yourself with as many different perspectives as possible. I attended Bowie State in the early 2000s. Imagine a time when Wikipedia was brand new. Information on minority history was difficult to find anywhere on the internet. The new Hip-Hop Minor offered at Bowie State will be a great opportunity to expand on the school's current academic focus: "Three new courses developed by Bowie ... Read more

Uncanny Creativity is a podcast and blog with advice, tips and ideas about the creative process. Do you have a question our community can help answer? Record your audio or written question via this contact form. Email b@uncannycreativity.com, write on Twitter @uncannycreative, or on our Facebook page.

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Brian E. Young

I'm a graphic designer (portfolio), classical pianist and artist in Baltimore, MD. I host the Uncanny Creativity Podcast helping to demystify the creative process and creator of Funlooksfun.com, an online shop for apparel and games. Twitter: @sketchee

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