Study: Benefits Of Movement For Creative Thinking

Wurzburg [Germany], January 18 (ANI): Movement helps us to think creatively. This insight is over 2000 years old – and already known to the philosophers in ancient Greece. However, what is the connection between movement and cognition from a scientific point of view? What happens in the brain when we walk? Are people who rarely move less creative?

“Our research shows that it is not movement per se that helps us to think more flexibly,” said neuroscientist Dr Barbara Handel from Julius-Maximilians-Universitat Wurzburg (JMU) in Bavaria, Germany. She and her doctoral student Supriya Murali conducted experiments that have been described in detail in a recent publication in the journal ‘Psychological Research’.

According to Handel, the freedom to make self-determined movements has been responsible for humans to think more flexibly.

Accordingly, even small movements while sitting can have the same positive effects on creative thinking.

However, the researcher does not derive any concrete movement suggestions from her work: “The important thing is the freedom to move without external constraints.”

It is important, she said, that movement is not suppressed or forced into regular patterns. “Unfortunately, this happens when people focus for example on a small screen,” explained the JMU researcher.

The increased use of mobile phones and similar devices – also in the field of education at the time of the Corona pandemic – could therefore have a negative effect on cognitive processes such as creativity.
How do people perceive their environment? What effect do sensory stimuli have in the peripheral nervous system and what in the brain? What influence do body movements have on the perception of sensory input? Researchers like Barbara Handel have been interested in such questions for many reasons.

In the long term, their findings could contribute to a better understanding of diseases that affect body movements as well as cognitive processes.

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