Right-Brained: So That's Not Why I'm Creative, After All?

For years I've thought of myself as (and been proud of) being right-brained -- you know, creative and such? Also, thought, well, no wonder, when my left-brained husband had trouble understanding me. But a new study has proven that there is just no such thing.

"Newly released research findings from University of Utah neuroscientists assert that there is no evidence within brain imaging that indicates some people are right-brained or left-brained," according to newswise.com.

Many years ago when I was not long out of college, I took some kind of brain "test" and the instructor was astounded by my results.  Shows what a brain can do.  I can no longer remember just what I was heralded for.  But I'm sure it had something to do with the right side of my brain, and I'm going to believe it, anyway.

The study by University of Utah researchers analyzed functional lateralization (identifying certain mental processes that are mainly specialized to one of the brain’s left or right hemispheres.of the brain), then "measured for thousands of brain regions —finding no relationship that individuals preferentially use their
left -brain network or right- brain network more often," the Web site recounts.

“It’s absolutely true that some brain functions occur in one or the other side of the brain. Language tends to be on the left, attention more on the right. But people don’t tend to have a stronger left- or right-sided brain network. It seems to be determined more connection by connection, ” newswise.com quotes Jeff Anderson, M.D., Ph.D., lead author of the study.

In the study, researchers broke up the brain into 7,000 regions and examined which regions of the brain were more lateralized, according to newswise.com.  The site quotes Jared Nielsen, a graduate student in neuroscience who carried out the study as part of his coursework, who said they looked for connections — or all of the possible combinations of brain regions — and added up the number of connections for each brain region that was left- lateralized or right-lateralized. They discovered patterns in brain imaging for why a brain connection might be strongly left- or right-lateralized, he said.

But the right-brain, left-brain thing?  It discounted this.

Results of the study are groundbreaking, as they may change the way people think about the old right-brain versus left-brain theory, Nielsen told newswise.com.

““Everyone should understand the personality types associated with the terminology ‘left-brained’ and ‘right-brained’ and how they relate to him or her personally; however, we just don't see patterns where the whole left-brain network is more connected or the whole right-brain network is more connected in some people. It may be that personality types have nothing to do with one hemisphere being more active, stronger, or more connected,” Nielsen said.


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