To Trace a Creative Thought

Brian Evans
Proceedings of Bridges 2012: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture (2012)
Pages 443–446 Short Papers


The structures and processes of creative thought mirror the structures and processes of our neural networks. In creating and learning, the fundamental process is conceptual metaphor, where ideas, like neurons, connect based on matching patterns. The connections exist in clustered networks. What allows the subtle connections needed for novelty is a small amount of randomness within the linking—a small-world network structure results. Small-world networks are explained and visualized. A new model of small-world network topography is also described and visualized. The model offers a substrate upon which creativity, understood as a neural process, can occur.