The Right Brain Initiative


Hear Jonah Lehrer Dissect Creativity

April 3rd, 2012 by Right Brain Team

Join us at Jonah Lehrer’s lecture on creativity.

A lecture by Jonah Lehrer
“Creativity and the brain: What is it, who has it and how do we achieve it?”

Tuesday, April 10, 2012  |  7 pm
Oregon Convention Center
777 NE Martin Luther King Blvd.  |  Portland 97232

Is creativity a gift bestowed on the lucky few by a higher power? Or is it a muscle that  anyone can build with the proper exercise, intention and effort?

In the spirit of interdisciplinary collaboration, OHSU’s Brain Institute and Right Brain are co-sponsoring a lecture next month that will address that question exactly. (Spoiler alert: the lecture sides with the muscle theory!)

Join us April 10th to hear critically acclaimed science writer Jonah Lehrer bring creativity down to earth in his lecture, “Creativity and the brain: What is it, who has it and how do we achieve it?” In it, Lehrer will address the scientific mechanism of creativity, as well as the practical steps we can all take to implement our imaginations to their fullest extent. He’ll ask us to leave behind the age-old myths of the muse and the “creative type” in favor of the New Science model that says the capacity of our imagination waxes and wanes in direct relation to the everyday things we do: showering, caffeinating and laughing, for example.

So who is Jonah Lehrer? Well, he’s an author. And an expert on neuroscience. And an editor. You might know of him if you’re a 20th century literature buff or a neuroscience professor or if you tune into philosophy blogs. In short, he’s just the kind of interdisciplinary thinker we at Right Brain are intrigued by! Deemed “something of a popular science prodigy” by The New York Times, Lehrer has authored two best-selling books, Proust Was a Neuroscientist and How We Decide, as well as Imagine: How Creativity Works, just out this month. He’s also written for The New Yorker, Nature, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and serves as contributing editor at Wired Magazine and National Public Radio’s Radiolab

A graduate of Columbia University with a degree in neuroscience, Lehrer also studied at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar where he received his master’s degree in 20th century literature and philosophy. How’s that for interdisciplinary?

His upcoming lecture promises to make a compelling case for arts integration, not only because its thesis says that anyone can be more imaginative, but also because it will focus on the many seemingly unrelated variables that factor into the creative process. In fact, he’ll be articulating one of the principles upon which Right Brain teaching artist residencies are constructed. That is, that the creative impulse is an elemental and malleable part us all that is inextricably tied to the other diverse (sometimes seemingly opposite) subjects and activities we undertake. It’s the reason we see dance as a conduit to math, photography as a lens on literary studies and theater as a portal to science. “For prompting creativity,” Lehrer writes in his new book, “few things are as important as time devoted to cross-pollination with fields outside our areas of expertise.” We couldn’t agree more!

**Single general admission ticket cost is $30 + fees. Purchase tickets here.**

Read an excerpt from Imagine: How Creativity Works published in The Wall Street Journal here.

Hear Lehrer’s discussion of creativity on NPR here.

OHSU’s Brain Institute presents Jonah Lehrer as part of its 2012 Brain Awareness Lecture Series. The Right Brain Initiative serves as proud co-sponsor of this lecture.

Read more about the OHSU Brain Awareness Lecture series here.


Right Brain Team