How foreign experiences stimulate the brain and foster creativity

“Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind,” Roman philosopher Seneca famously wrote. Two thousand years later, scientists are able to prove him right. A recent study published in the Academy of Management Journal establishes a direct correlation between travel and creativity. “Foreign experiences increase both cognitive flexibility and depth and integrativeness of thought, the ability to make deep connections between disparate forms,” in the words of lead researcher Adam Galinsky. Multicultural engagement, immersion, and adaptation are critical factors. In other words, one week in an all-inclusive resort in an exotic locale may not help rejuvenate those creative juices. At the same time, travel doesn’t necessarily mean seeking adventure far away from home. That foreign experience may await just six blocks away, in a different neighborhood. Think of “travel” as an invitation to seek out the new, the different and the unexpected with an open mind and a curious spirit, here and now.

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How foreign experiences stimulate the brain and foster creativity

“Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind,” Roman philosopher Seneca famously wrote. Two thousand years later, scientists are able to prove him right. A recent study published in the Academy of Management Journal establishes a direct correlation between travel and creativity. “Foreign experiences increase both cognitive flexibility and depth and integrativeness of thought, the ability to make deep connections between disparate forms,” in the words of lead researcher Adam Galinsky. Multicultural engagement, immersion, and adaptation are critical factors. In other words, one week in an all-inclusive resort in an exotic locale may not help rejuvenate those creative juices. At the same time, travel doesn’t necessarily mean seeking adventure far away from home. That foreign experience may await just six blocks away, in a different neighborhood. Think of “travel” as an invitation to seek out the new, the different and the unexpected with an open mind and a curious spirit, here and now.

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