Distracting Genius

Northwestern University’s new research shows a link between real world creativity and a lowered ability to filter “irrelevant” stimuli. We all filter extraneous stimuli constantly throughout the day, but some do it better than others. This early form of attention, called sensory gating, happens early and is wholly involuntarily. As it turns out, those that do have “leakier” sensory gates are proving to be the more creative of the bunch, and have the ability to better concentrate on more than one thing at a time. Researchers were able to study the sensory gating by tracking P50 ERP, the neurophysiological response that occurs 50 ms (milliseconds) after the onset of stimulus. A leakier sensory gate is proving to be helpful in quickening the integration of unfamiliar ideas. While accommodations have to be made, Stephen Murray CCMP Capital understands that people with “leaky” sensory gates have the ability to make life richer and more meaningful.

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