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Guest Lecture - Rex Jung

Anna Bancroft


Dr.Jung gave a prepared presentation on intelligence, genius and creativity. Due to the nature of our class, genius was not a high priority and wasn't given much attention after it was announced in the beginning. Prior to his talk, both Maggie and Dr. Jung challenged all the students to ask questions, with the surprising comment that med students were the worst to present to. The presentation was in three parts: the ugly presented first, followed by the good, finishing with the bad(ass). Many "common knowledge" facts were challenged and given cute names (Plebeophobia, an unhealthy fear of the normal part of the distribution, was my favorite). It was mentioned that there is no journal of negative results which could be very useful in many fields. There was once again a 4-step creative process mentioned, much like the two we have spoken of in our class discussions. Dr. Jung presented his hypothesis that demyelination in the brain after age 40 may increase creativity. Many mental illnesses were introduced that can, in some cases, heighten creativity. Dr. Jung summed up with the 5 P's: Prepare, Practice, Play, Produce, and Persevere.

3 unasked questions:

  1. When frontal lobotomies were all the rage, do you suppose that some of those people who had them exhibited greater creativity? Given previous information, I assume this is erroneous thinking, as the situation is then permanent, not transient.
  2. Do individuals expressing different kinds of creativity (scientific, artistic, physical, etc.) exhibit different physiological conditions in the brain?
  3. Does one's temperament greatly interfere with creative capacity? Can someone with a non-creatively-conducive temperament show great creativity early in life and "train" themselves out of it?

3 directions to take the research:

  1. age studies on creativity and temperament from early life to mid-20s
  2. study of possible correlation between multiple types (musical, physical, social, etc.) of intelligence and creativity
  3. cohort studies on the effects of public schooling vs. art/science magnet vs. various private school educations on creativity