Ever wonder why it feels so different to do something you’ve memorized rather than something you’re making up on the fly? Ever notice that in certain activities you might do one better than the other?

Charles Limb, surgeon and creativity researcher, put musicians in an fMRI and studied their brain activity while they performed memorized music and improvisations.

Great presentation: accessible, interesting, and humorous.

Fascinating results. (Especially for me. My composer son is incredibly improvisational, in jazz piano or saxophone, and in life. I have long wondered what really happens in that brain!)

Charles Lamb on stage with slide of jazz pianist Keith Jarrett
Charles Limb's TED talk: "Your Brain on Improv"