Shanti Ganesh, a researcher at Radboud University, is the winner of the Creative Mind Prize 2011, a new prize at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) established by the Freek & Hella de Jonge Foundation.
Shanti Ganesh, a researcher at Radboud University, is the winner of the Creative Mind Prize 2011, a new prize at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) established by the Freek & Hella de Jonge Foundation. Ganesh received the award for her research proposal ‘Can creativity switch domains?’ She can now further develop her proposal with the prize money of €10,000, and will receive support from the UvA within the framework of the Brain and Cognitive Sciences research priority area.
The brain of the creative mind plays a central role in the research proposal of Ganesh. It is very important to know exactly what creativity is, in order to foster it. Ganesh will therefore focus on the playfulness of creativity, because playfulness makes it possible to go against conventions and to think laterally when considering concepts.
According to Ganesh, there are three missing links in the scientific study of creativity:
She wants to deal with all these missing links in one experiment. Her proposal offers the opportunity to investigate the neurobiological causes of internal self-limitation.
Furthermore, Ganesh will focus on creative adaptability. Are architects, for example, also good dancers and are dancers also good artists? For this purpose, Ganesh has developed a new experiment: the ‘creative switch task’. Two groups of subjects are asked to perform this task: dance students and architecture students. During this experiment, Ganesh will, among other things, make scans of the anatomical connections in the brains of the subjects.
By coming to a greater understanding of what creativity actually is, Ganesh hopes to be able to contribute to the advancement of creativity.