Bridges 2012 Short Paper

To Trace a Creative Thought
Brian Evans
(Proceedings pages 443–446)


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.