The myth that creativity resides in the right hemisphere of the brain

Self-help gurus often claim that we do not exploit all our natural talents because we have not explored enough the non-dominant cerebral hemisphere, which normally considered to be the supposedly most creative right hemisphere. Some business management books also reinforce this idea.

The right hemisphere is also used as an argument to explain gender differences: in men the left hemosphere is very dominant, the most rational, but in women the most dominant is the right. In fact, women are more easily able to build neural bridges between both hemispheres.

The origin of the myth

How would the dickesian say Ebenezer Scrooge All these are paparruchas. While it is true that in humans and in many other animals the two hemispheres of the brain do not work identically, the neuroscience of the second half of the twentieth century placed too much emphasis on these differences.

Currently, neuroscience has stopped assigning particular functions to one hemisphere or another. Information and cognitive duties are shared between both hemispheres collaboratively, and is done equally in both men and women.

While each hemisphere can be strong in some cognitive aspects, these aspects cannot simply be categorized as "logical-rational" and "creative." To clarify it, Chistian Jarret refers to the next study in his book The myths of the brain:

Consider the research carried out by Gereon Fink, currently at the Ruhr-Universität, by the late psychologist John Marshall, and others. In one study they presented the participants with a large print made of small letters. Asking them to focus on the large print intensified the activity of the right hemisphere, while asking them to focus on the small letters produced greater activation of the left hemisphere. It seemed a clear distinction between focusing on the general frame and focusing on the detail frame, but then they repeated the task using tiny images of an object (for example, cups) arranged in the shape of a larger object, such as an anchor. In this case the result was the opposite: focusing on the largest object activated the left hemisphere!

Creative hemisphere?

Nor is the right hemisphere the creative one, because the left one can be too. In fact, by reviewing decades of research on the brain split in patients in a 2002 article to Scientific American, Michael Gazzaniga He characterized the left hemisphere as "inventive and interpretive" and the right as "truthful and literal."

Nor are there people who have a more dominant hemisphere than the other, as revealed in a paper published in 2013 by a team from the University of Utah led by Jared Nielsen. After examining functional scans of more than a thousand people while standing still, they found no differences in the connectivity of both hemispheres between left and right handed.

Video: The 'Right-Brained' Myth (February 2020).