Creative Sparks Research

The successful Creative Sparks Project has inspired professional development programs for educating healthcare professionels about (1) neurology, (2) psychology, (3) empathy, (4) creativity and (5) observation skills. Please see Art for Insight

The most recent project - Examining the Storm within van Gogh - builds upon the Creative Sparks Research for analysing how epilepsy may have inflenced his art and life. Van gogh was twice diagnosed with epilepsy during his lifetime.

 

I want to share with everyone who participated in and supported the "Creative Sparks Project" and PhD research that the thesis has been conditionally approved with high praise. Each of the 200 or so people who have so kindly participated or supported the study, art exhibit, website, evaluations, articles and/or TV reports deserve praise and admiration for the meaningful contributions. I am posting excerpts from the two anonymous examiners' reports for review and comments.

 

Anonymous Examiner 1:

“This thesis deserves my highest level respect as to several aspects:

- The very open way in reporting own personal/individual events, (life) changes, feelings, positive and negative experiences in life, profession and research activities.

- Finding and making the difficult pathway from personal fate and personally being concerned to an academic, scientific (research) question/approach.

- The high responsibility and respect towards the other artists (with epilepsy), their artworks, personal sphere and data; by balancing the participant respect in the pure research and applied research.

- The many implementations of various activities connected to/with this thesis, like websites; collecting and exhibiting artwork; recruiting participants; diverse evaluations by experts as to the artistic and ethical quality of work(s) and activities done.

- The anticipating and responsible collection of further information and data for further research (in respect to the fact that the recruitment of a second comparably large sample seems not very probable).

- The increase of understanding and social inclusion of people with epilepsy by means of various activities, especially the “Creative Sparks Project”.

In general, this thesis is unique and breaking new ground in knowledge and scientific territories, in more than one facet."

 

Anonymous Examiner 2:

“The positive features of this thesis are:

- It is extremely comprehensive, and reports an enormous body of work.

- The setting up of a novel exhibition and website was an extremely impressive effort, conducted over a prolonged period of time. It demonstrated enormous commitment.

- The careful choice of appropriate statistical methods is excellent.

- This thesis contains most interesting personal statements and insights.

- The thesis is highly original. 

- The descriptive elements are interesting and original.”

If these results and future projects interest you, then please email or call to discuss at your convenience.

Again, I want to thank everyone who participated in and supported this research and Creative Sparks Project. It could not have succeeded without you and, for many, your family members as part of the control group for comparison.


Comments (13)

Julie Thompson-Dobkin
Said this on 9-12-2013 At 09:55 pm

Congratulations Jim...fabulous work with the potential to reveal the many unknowns of the brain in epilepsy and understanding of creativity on a neurobiological basis for those whose lives have been affected by this condition.  An unraveling of the brain in a true sense, but adding a positive light to a condition, which often can be disabling.  Hidden truths Project & Hidden Truths, the Mind Unraveled.... have been supported by your work...kudos!

 

It goes miles to recognizing this group of talented individuals and the journey has only begun!

Dr. Julie Thompson-Dobkin

Hidden Truths Project

Said this on 9-13-2013 At 03:58 am

Congratulations, Jim!  Very important, ground-breaking work.  I look forward to seeing this evolve even further. :)

Peter Walker
Said this on 9-14-2013 At 12:52 am

Dear Jim, looking at the positive comments of your examiners I'm sure you are very proud. It has been a huge project of which you have unselfishly put the project first, and that is the reason so many respondents were happy to contribute.

Peter Goodman
Said this on 9-14-2013 At 01:04 am



Wow Jim,
Very positive critique indeed. You certainly have done something incredibly unique with your thesis. I know for me on a personal level your study and expression of it and your support has been one of the greatest thing to happen to me involving my creation of art.
I have often been disillusioned with the art world and artists (including myself) motives for creation. My involvement with Creative Sparks Project has given me the courage and desire to continue creating. You showed me that my previous negative conclusions are not the only way to intellectualize what I have been doing with pen ink and paint.
Thank you so much Jim.

Tremain Farrar
Said this on 9-14-2013 At 01:07 am

That is fantastic news about the thesis review. The comments by the examiners were very uplifting. Congratulations! I am honored to have been part of the extensive project. Moreover, I would be happy to continue contributing to the project in any way possible.Thanks for passing along the good news. I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Janet Yagoda Shagam
Said this on 9-14-2013 At 01:10 am

Congratulations! And thank you for the honor of being selected to participate in your study.  Doing so has  influenced my attitude about my art and other creative activities. Rather than something I do for whatever reasons, I understand and appreciate art, writing, and my other endeavors are a part of my makeup. I cannot "not" do them. As Rex Jung once said to me, "a differently wired" brain. Your study has made it so that I can celebrate, rather than hide, my abilities. Reducing stigma is another outcome as others see me as a person who is pretty damn productive. 
 As you may recall, I stated in my  SParks of Creativity application, that I consider  the return of childhood epilepsy as another birthday. In many ways having epilepsy is more liberating than confining. 

Catriona Russell
Said this on 9-14-2013 At 01:14 am

Such thought provoking and complimentary comments. You piqued their interest and these comments portray an understanding of your thoroughness. You should be justly proud. I am, and I met you but once.
What now?????????

Dotty Pedi
Said this on 9-14-2013 At 01:23 am

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE UPDATE!! WOW-----WHAT GREAT PHD RESULTS........SO MUCH TIME AND EFFORT WENT INTO THIS PROJECT..JIM IM SO HAPPY FOR YOU......ONLY GOOD THINGS CAN COME FROM THIS STUDY--THIS MIGHT JUST BE THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG---IF EVER YOU NEED ME FOR ANY FUTURE STUDIES/INPUT IM ALWAYS WILLING TO HELP YOU.....WE ARE ALL GOING TO BENEFIT FROM THIS.............WITH BEST REGARDS...........DOTTY PEDI :-)

Vicki Deutsch
Said this on 9-15-2013 At 02:11 am

lot's of praise for all your hard work with the thesis - congratulations!

Fiona Pringle
Said this on 9-15-2013 At 02:14 am

Hi Jim,
That's great news and we are so happy for you :) Congratulations! As a participant of 'Creative Sparks' it was great to read the Examiners' appreciation of your qualities and achievements and to be able to nod in agreement with all the relevant areas. Thank you for all your work and achievements.

Nadine Binder
Said this on 9-15-2013 At 02:16 am

Hi Jim, 
What an amazing response! Congratulations! What an achievement! 

Cheryl Heuston
Said this on 9-15-2013 At 02:18 am

Jim l want to thank you again for making creative sparks happen. It means so much to me. Take Care. Warm Regards
Cheryl

Jessica Kincaid
Said this on 9-15-2013 At 02:19 am

Hi Jim, 
Good for you! Congratulations on the well-deserved accolades.

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