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2013/2014  KAN-CMP_VANC  Applied Neuro Creativity

English Title
Applied Neuro Creativity

Course information

Language English
Exam ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Course period Autumn
Changes in course schedule may occur.
Thursday 12.35-16.05, week 5-11
Thursday 12.35-17.00, week 12
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Max. participants 50
Study board
Study Board for BSc/MSc in Business Administration and Psychology, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Balder Onarheim - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
  • Morten Friis-Olivarius - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
Secretary Merete Skaalum Lassen - ml.marktg@cbs.dk
Main academic disciplines
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Communication
  • Marketing
Last updated on 22-10-2013
Oral exam based on individual hand-ins:
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.
Individual or group exam Individual
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Project
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
20 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Preparation time No preparation
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Autumn Term and Spring Term
Aids allowed to bring to the exam Closed Book
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure
After the first part of the course, there will be a mandatory individual ‘half way’ hand-in (max. 3 pages, fail/pass), summarizing the neurological and psychological aspects of creativity from the theories introduced in the first part of the course. The students must pass the 'half way' hand-in. If a student - due to documented illness or failed attempt - does not pass the assignment, the student will be given a final chance to retake this part of the course by handing in a new assignment prior to the final exam.

After the course, each student hand in an individual project (max. 15 A4 pages), which is a written report reflecting the individual learning process as well as the group process. The group work is done in teams of approximately 3-5 students. The individual project should describe the theoretical aspects of creativity in relation to the actual creative process experienced during the course, key learning’s and reflections on the individual creative process as well as the team process and the result from the team work.

The final exam is based on an individual oral examination, based on both of the hand-ins: 1) the 15 page individual project 2) the 3 page ‘half way’ hand-in.

The student must demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the creative process that lead to the outcome of the group work as well as comprehensive knowledge of the creative theories, creative methods and models that have been dealt with during the course and in the curriculum. The final grade is given based on both the oral performance and the two hand-ins.
Course content and structure
Creativity lies at the core of all human behavior – in teaching, research, invention, innovation, entrepreneurship, management and leadership. By understanding what creativity is and the basic mechanisms that enables us to be creative, anyone can work in a targeted manner to improve his or her creativity. Once creative thinking is understood, a key feature is knowing when to apply creative thinking and when to balance with critical thinking.
There is a common belief that certain people possess some mystical, creative thought process that places them above all others in their unique skills for having creative and groundbreaking thought. Naturally, this is nothing but a myth. By understanding what creativity is, and learning how to identify and manipulate various creativity constraints – both practical and mental (neurological constraints) – anyone can learn how to utilize their personal skills and competencies creatively.
During the course the students will learn how creative knowledge and techniques can be applied to solve any kind of problem - in any domain, which constitutes a strong competitive advantage, both on an individual and an organizational level.
To achieve this, students are introduced to the underlying mechanisms of what is commonly known as creativity, through research from neuroscience and psychology, and are guided through an exploration of various creative tools and methods. In parallel, students work in teams employing this knowledge to solve a real-world creative challenge from a case company (in 2012, Coloplast A/S). The teams of students will thus go through an informed real world creative ‘design thinking’ process, while applying key concepts from the neuroscience of creativity.
The course is based on teaching the students how to utilize their existing knowledge and any domain expertise in a more creative way, building personal creative competencies as well as collaborative creative skills. The course is furthermore utilizing cross-disciplinary teams to facilitate exchange of knowledge and competencies across various disciplines, building competencies within cross-disciplinary work.
Teaching methods
The course is based on 'studio teaching', known from creative education. The course is therefore taught in the Studio@CBS villa at Frederiksberg, with a focus on short lectures followed by multidisciplinary team work with close supervision. In this way, students also learn to utilize existing and new knowledge in collaboration with students from various backgrounds. Active participation is therefore a crucial part of this course.

To enhance the multidisciplinary of the course and to support with supervision, guests from professional practice and teaching are invited to supplement the teachers throughout the course. Furthermore, a case company is brought in to supply the teams with a real world creative challenge to be solved during the course.

The course is divided into two, where the first part is focusing on theory, models, creative tools and the design thinking process ‘the double diamond’. In the second part, the students will work in multidisciplinary teams on implementing this knowledge by solving the creative challenge. This structure allows the students to unite theory and practice through collaboration and supervision.
Expected literature
Mandatory readings
- Friis-Olivarius, M. (2012). The Neurobiology of Creativity
- Friis-Olivarius, M., Onarheim, B. (2013). We need a neuroscience of creativity to teach applied creativity. Frontiers in Neuroscience.
- Onarheim, B. & Biskjaer, M.M. (in press). Balancing Constraints and the Sweet Spot as Coming Topics for Creativity Research. In: L. Ball, ed. Creativity in Design: understanding, capturing, supporting.
- Onarheim, B. & Biskjaer, M.M. (in press). An Introduction to ‘Creativity Constraints’ as a Concept for Cross-Disciplinary Interchange in Creativity Research. Proceedings of Creativity & Cognition 2013.
- Smith (2003). The constraining effects of initial ideas.
- Dix et al. (2006). Why bad ideas are a good idea.
- Design Council (2005). A study of the design process - The Double Diamond.
Supplementary readings
- Christoff et al. (2007). The role of spontaneous thought in human cognition.
- De Bono, E. (1970). Lateral thinking.
- Verganti, R. (2009). Design Driven Innovation. Introduction: Design Driven Innovation.
- Pink, D. (2005). A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the World.
- Dubberly, H. (2002). How do you design? A compendium of models.
- Cai et al. (2009). REM, not incubation, improves creativity by priming associative networks.
Further readings will available on LEARN prior to the start of the class.
Last updated on 22-10-2013