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Showing posts from December, 2014

5 REASONS STORIES CHANGE US AND WHY OUR BRAINS LOVE THEM

Researcher Paul Zak has spent the last several years searching for the reasons stories "can move us to tears, change our attitudes, opinions and behaviors, and even inspire us—and how stories change our brains, often for the better."
His work reveals that:
1) Stories engage emotions, imagination and information all at once, which is
why we can easily give our full attention to a well-told narrative;
2) The art of a storyteller is in the ability to increase and sustain the tension through the entire tale. When we to relate to the struggles and challenges of the story's main character, we can better understand our own and learn about how someone else got through them.
3) Stories bring brains together. There is an effortless and important empathic connection developed through listening to others' stories and being listened to when we tell our own. Neuroscience shows that this connection is what makes human beings able to collaborate in all the ways that allowed human begins…

Science Provides The Best Argument For Taking An Improv Class: We Are All Creative "Types"

Creative experiences are like Lindt's truffles: rich in variety, supplying a dopamine rush that signals "reward" to the brain- just enough reward to give a sense of satisfaction and trigger interest in going for another. While chocolate will always stand as one of life's greatest pleasures, the right "dose" of creative experience has a stronger -and longer-lasting impact. Plus its calorie-free. And no sugar hangover. And that is because with creative experiences we have to work harder and take on more of a challenge to achieve that burst of dopamine than we do biting into a delicious treat. Some facts about the brain, from neuroscience research about creative experiences published in Science Educator:
Because of its underlying adaptation for learning, it grows and reshapes itself in response to challenge, or withers through lack of use;It prefers to search and discover patterns for itself through active learning;Its capacities increase in direct relationshi…

The Improviser's Mind Set - imaginative thinking for solving unimaginable problems

"If the future is uncertain, best learn how to improvise. Find out how by looking at how actors and jazz musicians do it." Mary Crossan, Organizational Dynamics


   The scene is an improvisation training intensive with Gary Austin, founder and original director of the Groundlings improvisation group in LA. Just being around him fills me with an uncomfortable combination of awe and anxiety, but at the moment anxiety is winning as I recognize his intensity matches his brilliance. My emotions are focused on one thing: getting through a scene without embarrassing myself, nothing more. I approach my scene partner, whose only instruction from Mr. Austin is to sit at a table. My instruction is to open the scene with a single line that informs my partner who we are to one another.  I walk towards my partner holding an imaginary note pad and ask "Are you ready to order or do you need a little more time?" 
"I'm ready to order," he responds, "but what I'd …