“When John Coltrane was expanding the boundaries of the well-known song “My Favorite Things”at the Village Vanguard in May 1966, no one could have known what inspired him to take the musical turns he took. But imaging researchers may now have a better picture of how the brain was helping to carry him there.
Scientists funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) have found that, when jazz musicians are engaged in the highly creative and spontaneous activity known as improvisation, a large region of the brain involved in monitoring one?s performance is shut down, while a small region involved in organizing self-initiated thoughts and behaviors is highly activated. The researchers propose that this and several related patterns are likely to be key indicators of a brain that is engaged in highly creative thought. NIDCD is one of the National Institutes of Health. The study is published in the Feb. 27 issue of the journal Public Library of Science (PLoS) One.”