The Creative Brain

The Creative Brain

The Science of Genius

Written by:

  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780452287815
  • 224 Pages
  • Plume
  • Adult


Shakespeare’s tragic plays, Mozart’s sublime symphonies, Einstein’s revolutionary theories—how did these geniuses create such magnificent and highly original works? Were their brains different from those of ordinary people? Using modern neuroscience together with first-person accounts of creative breakthroughs from artists and scientists such as Mozart, Henri Poincaré, and Neil Simon, The Creative Brain illuminates where extraordinary creativity comes from.

Acclaimed brain scientist Nancy Andreasen proposes that, due to enriched connections between certain areas of the brain, geniuses are able to tap into the unconscious mind in ways that most of us can’t. She also explores the link between creativity and mental illness, and she shows how all of us can enhance our creative potential through mental exercises. Clearly and accessibly written, The Creative Brain is a fascinating investigation into the mystery of human genius.

The Creative Brain

The Creative Brain

Written by: Nancy C. Andreasen


“Expert analysis of the connections between extraordinary creativity,mental illness, intelligence, and the social environment… Andreasen leaves us with hope that the potential exists to enhance the creative capacity in our children and ourselves.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Andreasen writes with clarity and ease… She makes wonderful connections between the arts and the sciences.” —Nature

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations


I. The Nature of Creativity: The Ingenious Human Brain

II. In Search of Xanadu: Understanding the Creative Person and the Creative Process

III. Reaching Xanadu: How Does the Brain Create?

IV. Genius and Insanity: Creativity and Brain Disease

V. What Creates the Creative Brain?

VI. Building Better Brains: Creativity and Brain Plasticity