Musician and researcher Charles Limb wondered how the brain works during musical improvisation — so he put jazz musicians and rappers in an fMRI to find out. What he and his team found has deep implications for our understanding of creativity of all kinds
(TED talk originally posted here.)
From the talk:
“When he was trading fours with me, improvising versus memorized, his language areas lit up, his Broca’s area, which is inferior frontal gyrus on the left. He actually had it also homologous on the right. This is an area thought to be involved in expressive communication. This whole notion that music is a language, well maybe there’s a neurologic basis to it in fact after all, and we can see it when two musicians are having a musical conversation.”
“…we want to get at the root of what is creative genius, neurologically.”
And read some more about Charles Limb’s studies on jazz improv.