Neurologists help writer to demystify creative process

Dutch novelist and columnist Arnon Grunberg is to undergo experiments to monitor his brain activity while writing a new novella.

Grunberg’s brain activity while writing will be measured by electrodes implanted in a special hat which he will wear over a two week period in New York.

The process will be monitored by a team of neurologists and scientists using special software and data analysis techniques, according to the Volkskant.


‘This summer I was “embedded” with patients at a psychiatric hospital, after being embedded with soldiers, chambermaids, masseurs, ordinary Dutch families and train staff,’ Grunberg said. ‘Now, under scientific supervision, I will be embedded in myself.’

The prize-winning author hopes the tests will help demystify the creative process. ‘What happens when I am writing and what is the difference in brain activity when I am arguing with a train conductor or flirting with an older woman in a sauna?’ he told the Volkskrant.

Grunberg will report back on the experiment, which will be followed by the Volkskrant, early next year.

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