Creativity, the flow state and brain function

01 Mar 2012

There are various concepts of optimal human functioning such as creativity, flow, peak experience and self-actualization. With suggestions that creativity and flow are interrelated, and possibly even interchangeable, at first glance the metaphor of flow and the concept of creativity seem to be entangled. Rich descriptions of creativity and the flow experience exist, especially in psychological literature, yet very little is understood of the brain mechanisms that govern such human functioning. This article investigates flow, creativity, and the brain mechanisms that elicit such unusual human functioning, and what brain processes ground these psychological constructs. The intention is to distinguish the concept of flow from creativity, and expand the heuristic understanding and value of flow within the creative disciplines.