September 8, 2016 @ 1:25 AM
“I want you to know less at the end of this talk than you think you do now. Nothing interesting begins with knowing, it begins with doubt.”
This was how Dr. Beau Lotto began his speech on Tuesday, June 28, addressing a group of nearly 100 employees at Viacom Headquarters. “The Neuroscience of Creativity” promised to help unlock our best ideas using perceptual awareness.
Brain cells from Lotto’s lab. (Courtesy of Beau Lotto)
Confused by this nebulous description? So was I. But through the course of an hour, Lotto methodically demonstrated the stages of creativity, taking us through biology, human evolution, and social constructs. By the end of his talk, I knew far less than I did when I sat down.
Some might think this is a strange result of a scientific lecture, but Lotto is a renegade of scientific academia. He’s built a career out of making neuroscience—the study of the brain and nervous system—accessible to those of us without PhDs. His speeches distill complex topics like brain chemistry and cognitive function using art, puzzles, and storytelling.