Researcher David Galenson theorizes that the reason for this is that creative people come in two main types:
- Conceptual innovators think in bold, dramatic leaps and do their best work when young
- Experimental innovators learn through trial and error and do their best work after lengthy experimentation
Critics say Galenson's theories overlook people who produce exceptional work throughout their lives. His latest research suggests that creativity can be expressed as a continuum. Instead of being either experimental or conceptual, people can be mostly one or the other, or they can be somewhere in the middle.
We may never know precisely where creativity comes from, why some people use their creativity more than others or why some people are most creative during specific times in their lives. We may not learn how one person ends up with the right balance of brainpower, intelligence and creativity to become a genius. But it's clear that geniuses are central to advancements in science, technology and understanding. Without geniuses, our understanding of mathematics, literature and music would be completely different. Concepts that we now take for granted, like gravity, planetary orbits and black holes, might still be undiscovered.
Check out the links on the next page for lots more information about the human brain, intelligence and genius.