March 5, 2012
Creative Thinking Not Just For Right Side Of Brain
Researchers say that the left hemisphere of the brain may not be just logic and math, but could also help play a big role in creativity as well.
Researchers from the University of Southern California (USC) are working to try and pin down the exact source of creativity in the brain."We want to know: how does creativity work in the brain?" Lisa Aziz-Zadeh, assistant professor of neuroscience at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, said in a statement.
The right hemisphere of the brain is thought to be the creative half, while the left is thought to be the rational, logical side.
However a new study demonstrates that the left half helps out the right half in moments of performing creative thinking.
During the study, the researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to scan the brains of architecture students.
The team showed the participants three shapes while being scanned, including a circle, the letter C, and the number 8.
The students were asked to visualize images that could be made by rearranging those shapes, such as making the 8 as eyes and the C to become a mouth.
They were also asked to try to piece three geometric shapes together with their minds and see if they formed a square or a rectangle.
The researchers found that the creative task, which was handled mostly by the right hemisphere, actually lifted up the left hemisphere more than the non-creative task did.
The new discovery indicates that the left side of the brain plays a potentially crucial role in helping the brain perform creatively.
"We need both hemispheres for creative processing," Aziz-Zadeh said in a press release.
She said the next step is for the researchers to explore how different types of creativity are played out by the brain.
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