Morning coffee just killed your creativity
While caffeine unquestionably improves focus, it blocks the ability to let the mind wander and form original ideas.
We wish we had a better description of it, but our writer had two cups of medium roast before work this morning and his creativity is absolutely shot.
Instead, we'll leave it to Marina Konnikova, a New Yorker contributor and the author of The New York Times bestseller "Mastermind: How To Think Like Sherlock Holmes" to explain why the same coffee that supposedly helped Honore de Balzac reach his creative peak is frying the imaginations of modern drinkers:
"When we drink a caffeinated beverage, the caffeine quickly crosses the blood-brain barrier -- an interface of sorts between the brain and the body's circulatory system, designed to protect the central nervous system from chemicals in the blood that might harm it -- and proceeds to block the activity of a substance called adenosine. Normally, a central function of adenosine is to inhibit the release of various chemicals into the brain, lowering energy levels and promoting sleep, among other regulatory bodily functions. When it's blocked, we're less likely to fall asleep on our desks or feel our focus drifting."
Although a recent review of roughly 100 studies notes that caffeine enhances physical, cognitive and motor performance and boosts short-term memory, problem-solving, decision-making and concentration, it eliminates a key portion of the creative process. Simply put, caffeine gives a coffee drinker pinpoint focus, but it doesn't allow the mind to wander. And a recent study showed that losing focus helped inspire creative solutions.
As any coffee drinker knows all too well, caffeine also wreaks havoc on sleep, which is also key for creative thought. It impedes the ability to go into deep sleep, which diminishes emotional intelligence, constructive thinking and the ability to cope with stress, according to a 2009 study. All that blunts the ability to solve problems and draw connections between unassociated information.
So how you do you maintain that caffeine-driven focus without losing your creativity? Trick yourself.
The University of East London discovered in 2011 that if you give a habitual coffee drinker some decaf and tell him it's the real deal, he'll work not only more quickly but more creatively.
I'm thinking that these people didn't actually study highly creative people. There is not an artist that I know (and I know several) that doesn't have coffee or tea in the morning.
Absolute BULLCRAP PSEUDO SCIENCE esp. in light of the fact that there is no true discernible predictable measurement of so-called creativity. Think about it, these "studies" are designed by folks who themselves exhibit virtually zero creativity. In over one hundred years behavioral science has come so far...........not. Even with PET scans etc. where we can localize neural activity with specific functions we really have no accurate interpretation of what it actually means. In reality the greatest
levels of creativity occur when we ARE focused, motivated, on the ball etc. And coffee definitely provides a cerebral boost in all those areas associated with ........................... CREATIVITY.
Bah. Creativity is vastly overrated.
Gotta have my 1,5,7-trimethylxanthine...
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