Do we have scientific evidence to
prove the idea that creative people are more right-brained, and logical people are more left-brained? The answer is no, but
to understand the science behind this we better first understand where
it comes from. Our brain is divided in two parts, the right and the
left – and it was more or less around 1860/1870 that some scientists have found that the
left side was very important for language, but today we know that
it is not true for everybody, and some people have it on the right side of the brain.
So, Ok, our left brain receives stimuli that occur in my
right hand, and controls the movements of my right hand, and vice versa.
But, for example, it gets a little bit more
complicated for our vision… my right side processes information from both eyes; and the same is true for my left side. And the dominant eye? It has nothing to do with being more right or left brain. Actually, this myth became popular
with the book “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”, in the late 19th Century. The author
defended the idea that our emotional right side competes with our rational left side. Nowadays, we have books and videos on the internet that teach us how to use the
right brain to draw, to write, and even to
be a leader who thinks with the right brain. We can find
personality tests to know if we are more
right or left sided brain. It all doesn’t work! and started to
popularize even more in the 70s, influenced by the Nobel Prize in Medicine,
Roger Sperry, who studied functions that were more on one side or the other.
He found that by cutting what we call the corpus callosum, which is a set of
fibers connecting the two sides of the brain, he verified that patients
with epilepsy started to have a life apparently normal, but actually
they presented anormal behaviours. But he never defended this
simplification, and at that time he had already realized that for being
creative or logical we need both sides of the brain. Today we
we know that this structure, which is the corpus callosum, processes more than
200 million neural connections. A very recent study shows that the stimulation
on the left side of a region here that we name the posterior parietal cortex, right in this region, this stimulation at the beginning of a
problem solving, it helps with what we know as the creative moment, called
eureka. This means that an activity on the left that is
quite important for a creative act, which does not confirm the idea that the
right side is the main responsible for creativity. A group of neuroscientists,
inspired by that idea aside right is emotional and the left side is rational, they designed an experiment to test this hypothesis. They used a database with over a thousand individuals, between 7 and 29 years of age.
And what did they conclude? That… there is no dominance for the right or left side of the brain. They also did not find a difference between the sexes,
that helps us to debunk the popular myth that women are more emotional and right side, and men are more rational and left side. A meta-analysis that studies several studies together, in this one more than 20, they were mapping brain activity (fMRI)
and brain waves (EEG), and what did they found? an increase in activity
in the prefrontal cortex, which is this region here, on the right side, but the left side
was also active – showing that it is necessary both sides to be creative.
Five other creativity studies checked that different brain areas, distributed on both sides of the brain for the creativity. Okay, so I gave several examples
about creativity, but what about the logical profile? that presuppose to be analytical, rational, and good in math? What happens in that brain? Is this brain more on the left? No!
When we do any math calculation, we use both sides of the
brain. Anyway, the ideal is that we could be both logical and creative. We see this in the artists and writers, that they are usually very creative, but also extremely logical and organized. For great leaders too. Great leaders are always creative and logical, emotional and rational. But there’s no problem wanting to be more logical or more creative… What is not Ok is to relate this profile to one side being more active or more developed than the other side. This is a mistake! We have to remember that we use both sides of the brain to create, organize, reasoning, sleep, rest, etc. We use both sides of the brain all the time. Is this explanation a surprise or did you already know? Tell us here in the comments and if you know someone who still believes in this myth, please share our video and don’t be
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