A new study reveals that the continuous improvisation done by rappers during freestyling and performing has both short-term and long-term effects on their brains. These new findings are part of ongoing investigations to understand the neural correlates of creativity, which are poorly understood.
These images were created using functional magnetic resonance technology. Areas in the brain associated with organization and motivation (yellow) are more active when rappers freestyle or improvise lyrics. Areas linked to self-control (blue) are dampened.
In the words of the scientists running this study,
"Lyrical improvisation appears to be characterized by altered relationships between regions coupling intention and action, in which conventional executive control may be bypassed and motor control directed by cingulate motor mechanisms. These functional reorganizations may facilitate the initial improvisatory phase of creative behavior."
Read more about the study on Nature.com.