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Guest Lecture - Rex Jung

Elizabeth Montano

This scientist is interested in brain behavior relationships. He began his presentation talking about creativity and genius: the good, the bad, and the ugly. The ugly was the thought that you have to be a genius to be creative, when in fact the less intelligent are creative too. There is a normal distribution of creativity. Creativity is the part of the brain that doesn't overlap with IQ, this is what Dr. Jung is interested in. I asked if a person's IQ changes over time, the answer was yes between 10-15 points. He talked about body size increasing with our increasing brains (capacity and size), and I asked if taller people are more intelligent, the answer was yes. He spoke about Einsteins brain and the irregularities that existed within it, these were increased glial cells, lack of parietal fissure, and a 12% increase in bilateral tissue. Also having to do with intellect was the Flynn effect, the fact that an IQ now is much more difficult to achieve to a person who scored a 100 in the 1950s. Right and left brain functions were also spoken about, when the two are separated they act as two separate brains, the left being associated with language and the right being associated with visual things.

Dr. Jung defines creativity as inductive reasoning that is trainable and within it exists novelty and utility within a social context. He defines intellect as reason, problem solving, deductive reasoning, and no as trainable.

The bad was explained using a three dimensional image of Dr. Jung's brain, and he spoke about morphometry and quantitative myelin integrity. Brain myelination is at a maximum in our 40s, and demylination occurs from front to back as we senesce further. This demyelination increases creativity. There are kinds of knowledge gaining, one is spontaneous and the other is cognitive. These are the things we know we are learning and things we learn without realizing it. We also talked about FTD, increased space in frontal lobes of the brain that is a sign of a mental issue but increases creativity to the point of obsessive production. We also talked about the speed of neuronal signals, and how cortical thinning is like a long distance runner, and thickness may be like a short and fast distance runner. About the water that is in the brain and written about in one of our papers, thinner myelin sheaths increase more water spraying and increase radial diffusion and thus creativity. Increased creativity is a lessening of the filter or inhibition of incoming information.

The good of creativity was explained as a process for creativity: prepare, practice, play, produce, and perservere. The brain is trainable like a muscle, like the juggler who showed thickening of the area of the brain used in spatial relationships etc, used when juggling. What is important here was that when the juggler stopped the area of the brain, very much like muscles, becomes less thickened. This is the use it or lose it kind of thing. There is also a four step process to increase creativity: verify, prepare (knowledge on a problem), illuminate (aha! Moment), and incubation (allow your thoughts and brain to rest).


  1. What percentage of people are born lacking the parietal fissure, and have you tested any of these people for creativity?
  2. In addition to water, have you studied ions in the brain that are linked to the speed at which signals are sent through neurons, particularly over time as we age?
  3. How much time did it take the people who trained in tasks like juggling to revert back to the way it was before (without the areas of increased mass or function) the action began?


  1. The future of this research is to determine the best characters of creativity.
  2. This could even be broken up by areas of the most creativity such as profession, hobbies etc.
  3. Perhaps there will one day be a test much like that of the IQ for creativity.