ZenStorming

Where Science Meets Muse

Creative Problem Solving, Forgiveness and Our Brains

Posted by Plish on February 19, 2010

Courtesy of Harvard University

In my recent reading I stumbled across a reference to the fact that forgiveness occurs in the Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC) of our brains. 

Why does that matter?

It turns out that, “emotional self-control, focused problem solving, error recognition, and adaptive response to changing conditions, are juxtaposed with the emotions” in the ACC.  It’s the place where empathy seems to reside.

So, since there is only limited bandwidth in the brain to deal with issues, emotional “baggage” tied up with lack of forgiveness in our brains, as well as our emotional control of that baggage, eat up bandwidth that could be used for solving problems and empathic response (which helps realize creative solutions).

This whole area is still very much in its infancy, and only future research will confirm whether the hypothesized relationships exist, but I don’t think it would hurt if we went into our designing endeavors free of emotional burdens.

What do you think?

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4 Responses to “Creative Problem Solving, Forgiveness and Our Brains”

  1. I really like this. I am thinking a lot about the need to head space to do good creative work, so it’s interesting to find a link like this. Intriguing, even.

    But wouldn’t it be easier if we could just think about forgiveness instead of actually having to DO it 🙂

  2. Plish said

    Thanks Joanna!

    I think that there’s something to be said for having a disposition of forgiveness and creating head/heart space even in those cases where forgiving is done ‘virtually’.

    There’s a book entitled “The Law of Forgiveness” by Connie Domino that I believe talks about forgiving even if it’s not in person.

    Thanks again for your thoughts and for stopping by!

  3. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by plish: Creative Problem Solving, Forgiveness and Our Brains: http://wp.me/pkQcg-tj

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