Does randomness play a crucial role in human creativity?  I view this as a question about how the human brain functions.  Could evolution have somehow produced a mechanism in our brains which involves some kind of random process?  As a mathematician, I have often had the experience of suddenly seeing how to prove a theorem that I've been struggling with for weeks or months, or even years.  Somehow my brain succeeds in finding a chain of links between one thing and another.  Perhaps this simply involves a process of systematically considering all possible chains of links which satisfy some specific criteria and in some specific order.  But I don't think that is what actually is happening.  My intuition is that the process is one where the brain searches for chains of links by imposing some specific criteria for selecting such chains and then somehow randomly considering the possibilities.  It also seems that there is some kind of feedback mechanism which has the effect of continuously changing the selection criteria,  perhaps in a way which also involves an ingredient of randomness.  This mysterious process could be called "controlled randomness." The process is undoubtedly quite complex and must involve a rather delicate balance between the controlling aspect and the role which randomness plays. Instead of attempting to discuss this in general, it seems easier to consider specific creative activities, e.g.  creativity in mathematics, composing music, painting, and dreaming. The last is certainly a creative activity which most human beings and various other species participate in.  For now, we will begin to collect interesting links.

Interview with Merce Cunningham
Random Notes on Dramatic Space
Alea iacta est
Jackson Pollock (1912-1956)
Chaos Theory
A letter to New Scientist

Brunel's Psychology Links
Sleep and Dreams

The Hobson-McCarley Theory of Dreams
Dreaming: Function and Meaning
Creation of Dream Meaning

PENROSE - Shadows of the Mind, etc
Minds, Machines, and Mathematics
The Mind and Consciousness

The Cerebral Symphony
Journal of Consciousness Studies
Computers at the dawn of creativity
Marten's GEB Page
The Matter of Mind

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