Human creativity and culture
What do we mean by creativity and can machines be creative? Does creativity depend on conscious processes? Does seeing the world differently lead to new creative insights?
These were some of the questions being discussed at the fifth Sussex Conversation - on Mind and Brain - which took place at the Royal Institution on Thursday (26 April).
The wide-ranging conversation explored creativity and human identity; examined the creativity of people affected by mental illness, neurological disease and unusual experiences; and asked what we can know of the brain mechanisms that produce creative behaviour.
Chaired by Mark Lythgoe, Director of the Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging at University College London, the panel comprised
- Professor Ernest Edmonds a multi-disciplinary artist and Professor of Computation and Creative Media at the University of Technology in Sydney;
- Professor Chris Frith, Emeritus Professor in Neuropsychology at University College London;
- and Carol Steen, a world-renowned artist and synaesthete from New York.
From Sussex, the respondents in the discussion were
- Professor Maggie Boden, Research Professor of Cognitive Science, who helped develop the world’s first academic programme in AI and cognitive science;
- Anil Seth, Reader in Informatics and Co-Director of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness;
- and Jamie Ward, Reader in Psychology and one of the world’s leading experts in synaesthesia.
A full house at the Royal Institution joined in the debate, with questions and comments from those present as well as via Twitter from those watching online.
As before, the conversation was filmed by a team of Sussex multi-media students, supervised by Phil Watten, from Informatics, and broadcast live on the Sussex web.