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Finally, a convenient cure for your writer’s block: a recent study conducted by scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) reveals that it is possible to enhance creativity by zapping certain regions of the brain with electrical currents. (Look out for brain-zappers at your local, freelancer-packed café.)
The findings, which were released in the journal Cortex, make use of so-called “alpha oscillations.” “Alpha oscillations” are the sort of brain waves we emit when we close our eyes, and they have long been tentatively linked with innovative thinking, Discover reports.
But researchers at UNC wanted to determine whether it is possible to stimulate this brand of neural activity from the outside — so they applied the relevant electrical currents to the brains of 20 volunteers. The test subjects were then asked to complete The Torrance Test of Creative Thinking, an index used by psychologists to measure creativity. Subjects displayed a 7.4% increase in creative thinking when their brains were stimulated.
This study comes at a time when “transcranial direct-current stimulation,” a procedure that uses electrical currents to produce desirable sorts of neural activity, has developed something of a following, as Elif Batuman recently reported in The New Yorker. The technique has been used to treat depression, chronic pain, and schizophrenia, among other ailments, although it is still controversial.
It’s not clear whether artificially induced creative impulses qualify as “inspiration” — there’s something a bit off about relying on electrical stimulation in order to come up with original ideas — but it’s certainly a welcome expedient. If only we could learn to self-stimulate without the aid of transcranial technology.
“Black infants in America are now more than twice as likely to die as white infants—11.3 per 1,000 black babies, compared with 4.9 per 1,000 white babies, according to the most recent government data—a racial disparity that is actually wider than in 1850, 15 years before the end of slavery, when most black women were…
In 1850, when Dr. Robert W. Gibbes commissioned J. T. Zealy to make daguerreotypes of persons held in slavery in and around Columbia, South Carolina, for Harvard Professor Louis Agassiz to use in support of his theory that African people were a separate species, daguerreotypes were at the height of fashion.
Works by Rodolfo Abularach, Mario Bencomo, Denise Carvalho, Pérez Celis, Entes, and Agustín Fernandéz are on view at the NYC gallery through January 7, 2022.
he ownership of images has a long and nuanced legal history, which has evolved dramatically in recent years as cultural standards and photographic technologies have rapidly advanced
Renty and his daughter Delia. Renty was an enslaved African, kidnapped from the Congo, sold and forced into slave labor on the South Carolina plantation of B.F. Taylor
“Ecosystem X,” an art-based reimagining of life on planet Earth, is the theme of this open call. 10 artists will win $5,000 and one student will receive $5,000 as a scholarship/stipend.
The show, which honors the 50th anniversary of an exhibition history once ignored, continues a series of projects documenting Wilmington’s contemporary art scene.
As a scholar of African American history and photography whose work has focused on the status of violent images in museums and archives, I fully support the validity of Ms. Tamara Lanier’s claim and the amicus brief.
The daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor, Delia, Drana, Alfred, Jack, George Fassena, and Jem remained in an unused storage cabinet until 1975, when it was discovered by an employee of the Peabody Museum.
I am writing in support of the amicus curiae brief submitted by Professor Ariella Aïsha Azoulay of Brown University for the full restitution of the daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor and his daughter Delia, currently held by Harvard University, to their familial descendant, Tamara Lanier.