Neuroscience and Biobehavioral : The Cerebellum's Predominant Role in Creativity

By Vandervert, Larry R.

The Role of the Cerebellum in Thought and Creativity: A Monumental Neuroscience Breakthrough Three decades ago, leading cerebellum researchers proposed that just as the cerebellum contributes to the refinement and automaticity of motor skills, the cerebellum’s connections to the prefrontal cortex and Broca’s language areas (areas 44 & 45) contribute to planning and language. In essence, they proposed that, ‘operating below the level of conscious awareness,’ the cerebellum contributed to increased levels of thought in the following way: Cerebellar connections to Broca’s area may not only increase the speed and skill of speaking but also confer other benefits on humans. Because Broca’s area communicates with other association areas in the cerebral cortex, the cerebellar signals to Broca’s area could increase the speed and skill of such intracortical communication. These communications between cortical association areas are said to comprise the language of thought (Luria, 1980). Therefore, the processes of rationale thought may be performed with increased speed and skill in the human brain as a consequence of its enlarged cerebro-cerebellar connections. (1989, 1006) In the time since the publication of this breakthrough research, it has been further established that the cerebellum indeed does participate greatly in language and thought.

The Cerebellum Plays a Prominent Role (Perhaps a Predominant Role) in Driving People to Be Creative The language and thought functions of the cerebellum described in the above quote evolved primarily during the last million years. Because the cerebellum has the key role in refining all of our specific skills, including mental skills, neuroscience researchers have argued that part of this refinement process by the cerebellum is to produce new and useful ideas and technology. In other words, the cerebellum drives people to be creative. Moreover, it has been proposed that it was the evolution of the new language and thought functions of the cerebellum that was largely responsible for driving the advanced stone-tool technology and culture of Homo sapiens into existence.

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