David James Lawton
The Joys of Caffeine
Pumping yourself full of coffee in the morning may not be too advantageous to people working in the creative industries. A new study has suggested that caffeine boosts focus and problem solving skills, but not creative thought. The reason being that both processes require the brain to behave in completely different ways.
Caffeine stimulates ‘convergent thinking’, which relates to maintaining attention and directly to problem solving, but has little impact on ‘divergent thinking’ which requires less intensity but creates a wider spectrum of spontaneous thought, useful for brainstorming.
Any more that a couple of strong cups of coffee per day can also trigger headaches and anxiety, but at least there is no evidence that it has a negative impact on creative thought. However caffeine could still indirectly impact positively on your ability to think creatively, by improving your mood.
However, to boost creative thinking in more proven ways, science recommends taking a walk in fresh air, taking a nap or good old-fashioned boredom -all triggers to get the creative juices flowing!
As yet, no-one has considered the impact of drinking coffee on the go, whilst going for a walk. Do these factors cancel each other out, or create massive creative potential?!!
How much coffee do you get through in a typical day?