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Most definitions of creativity emphasise originality. The creative product is recognised as distinct from other products and the creative person as someone who stands out from the crowd. What tend to be overlooked are acts of mirroring as a crucial element of the creative process. The human ability to empathise and socialise is partly due to another, more fundamental ability to duplicate the stance of the other (see also Chapter 13). Through mirroring, we attune to other people and thus create resonance and preparedness for mutual creative exploration. In this chapter, we investigate the object and metaphorical value of mirroring for creativity theory across two different research fields — neuroscience and learning. We engage in a mutual (possibly creative) exploration of mirroring from ‘mirror neurons’ to mirroring in social learning theory. One of the most fascinating aspects of mirroring as a neurobiological and as a learning phenomenon is that it points to the embodied and unconscious aspects of social interaction. Thus, mirroring should not be reduced to the non-creative, mechanical repetition of the original, outstanding creativity. To mirror is a human capability built into our capacity to create. It started like this:
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCreativity — A New Vocabulary
EditorsVlad Petre Glăveanu, Lene Tanggaard, Charlotte Wegener
Number of pages9
Place of publicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication year2016
ISBN (print)978-1-137-51180-5
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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