Kids, Language & Brains


Right Brain + Left Brain = Creativity?

While it is often claimed creative people make greater use of the right hemisphere of their brain, this myth is being debunked by researchers. They have discovered that the real source of creativity is the strength of the neural connection between the left and right hemispheres. In a study co-authored by Duke University's David Dunson, distinguished professor of statistics, and Daniele Durante, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Padova in Italy, their perspective comes from the field of "connectomics"  which focuses on brain networks rather than analyzing different brain regions.  Using evidence from MRI scans conducted by Rex Jung, clinical professor of neurosurgery at the University of New Mexico, and his team, Dunson and Durante analyzed the collected data looking for statistical differences between brain structures.  They found significant statistical differences in the number of inter-hemispheric connections in the top 15th and lowest 15th percentiles of creativity.  Granting the small size of their sample, Dunson and Durante are quick to say they will need to work with larger and more diverse groups and with altered research designs in future studies.  At this point they are comfortable stating their findings are consistent with recent ideas that creative innovations arise from communication between regions of the brain that ordinarily aren't connected.  Shagun Vashisth, Brain in the News,  April 2017.

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