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Surprising Science

Debunking the Right-Brain Creativity Myth

According to the University of Southern California, fMRI brain scans show that both sides of the brain are involved in completing creative tasks. One more brain myth bites the dust. 

What’s the Latest Development?

The idea that creative people are somehow ‘right-brained’ is a myth, according to recent research completed at the University of Southern California. In a study, a group of subjects were given a creative taskrearranging a circle, a C and an 8 to create a new imageand non-creative taskmentally fitting together geometric shapes to form a square or rectangle. The later task, which requires spatial processing but not necessarily creativity, stimulated tissue in the brain’s left hemisphere while the creative task involved the entire brain. 

What’s the Big Idea?

While the left hemisphere of your brain is typically thought to control mathematical and logical processes, it is essential to solving creative problems, as well. ‘We need both hemispheres for creative processing,’ said Lisa Aziz-Zadeh, assistant professor of neuroscience at USC. The study goes to show that high-level human functioning rarely fits into neat boxes or binary divisions. So beware of creativity merchants who try to sell you on the simplistic idea that training the right side of your brain will make you a more creative person. 

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