Tag Archives: creativity

Marcin Kowrygo on the Neuroscience of Ideation

Here’s another awesome breakout preview for the upcoming QS conference. Marcin Kowrygo, organizer of QS Poland, describes his session “Your Blue Room: The Neuroscience of Ideation”:


There is no more important meta-idea than knowing where every idea comes from. - Jonah Lehrer

Creativity is a vague term describing a complex phenomenon belonging to the group of humanity’s ultimate riddles. And just like with the terms consciousness and happiness, we may encounter two dominant groups looking at creativity: those satisfied with the true but not very enriching remark of “it’s the result of the brain’s activity” and those pointing towards a Bill O’Reilly-themed phrase “you can’t explain that”.

While modern neuroscience and bioinformatics are making a serious attempt to decypher the mysteries of our exceptional ability to connect X with Y in novel and useful ways, our self-tracking community can make inroads by testing the abundance of mental strategies, environmental changes, supplements, and brain stimulation techniques and quantifying the results.

During my session, I would like to present you a synthetic, integrative summary of various approaches in studying the neuronal and psychological mechanisms engaged in creativity. All in all, generating breaktrough ideas may be the single best thing we can do with our minds in the conceptual age. After that, I will be happy to share some of my concepts, and I look forward to a fruitful and productive discussion that would enable us to measure higher cognitive skills without being too simplistic.

Feel free to contact me, make suggestions and share your views. Failing big and upgrading “stolen” concepts is the key!

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How To Measure Anything, Even Intangibles

Some things are easy to measure. Time, money, exercise, calories, location – all of these are relatively straightforward to repeatably determine or calculate. 
But how does one go about measuring happiness? What about compassion, or public influence, or creativity? These are more intangible, harder to pin down to a number that means anything.
Douglas Hubbard has written an impressive work called “How To Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business.” The book is available here

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How To Measure and Maximize Creative Thoughts

Do you want to be more creative? Justin Wehr does, and he sent in this question for the QS advisory board.


Name: Justin Wehrjustinwehr.jpg

Purpose: My objective is to measure creative thoughts so I can figure out how to
maximize them.

Variables tracked: I have some variables related to this, but not enough. For example,
I have a notebook I carry around with me so I can write something down
every time I think of/hear something interesting that I want to
remember. So I think I could crudely measure creative thoughts with
something like “number of lines written in notebook per unit time”.
However, I do not track time spent reading or which lines written in
the notebook occurred during reading. But my hope is that I could set
up an experiment that would not be too complicated — that is the
advice I would like from the QS advisors.

How do I set up an experiment to determine when I have have the most
creative thoughts … when I am reading, when I am thinking, or when I do
intermittent periods of reading and thinking? What should I measure,
how should I measure it, is it practical, and how do I analyze the

See what Gary Wolf of Quantified Self and Gary King of Harvard had to say…

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