The ancient Greeks were so mystified by creativity that they attributed it to a series of goddesses: the muses. Calliope inspired poetry, while Melpomene and Thalia were responsible for tragedy and comedy. These days, a “muse” is considered to be a living person—often a woman—who spurs an artist to create great work. Yet the
concept is entirely insufficient when it comes to explaining how humans have produced great paintings, sculptures, literature, music, and scientific breakthroughs for thousands of years. These days, psychologists and neuroscientists take a data-driven approach to understanding creativity.
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