Have you ever taken a right brain / left brain test? According to the idea of brain function lateralization, the right side of the brain is associated with creative endeavors while the left side of the brain is associated with math and logic. People who love to paint or draw are often described as right-brained, while those who prefer activities that involve numbers, language, and logic are described as left-brained. Researchers from the University of Southern California (USC) have found that the left side of the brain also plays an important part in creative thinking.
Previous research has shown that when doing certain things, such as math, performance is actually the best when both sides of the brain work together. In new researcher, published in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, USC researchers found that while the right brain is the most heavily involved in creative thinking, the left brain also provides important contributions. Researchers used fMRIs to look at the brains of participants as the performed tasks, some that required creative thinking and others that did not. While the creative tasks were handled largely by the right hemisphere, the researchers discovered that the left side of the brain lit up more during the creative task than it did during the non-creative task.
"We need both hemispheres for creative processing," concluded the study's lead author Lisa Aziz-Zadeh, an assistant professor of neuroscience at USC.
More About This Study:
- Scientists Search for Source of Creativity - USC News
- Aziz-Zadeh, L. Liew, S. L., & Dandekar, F. (2012). Exploring the Neural Correlates of Visual Creativity. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, DOI: 10.1093/scan/nss021.
Image by Artem Chernyshevych