APR 07, 2020 8:33 AM PDT

Creativity Comes from Right and Left Brain Hemispheres

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

Not all neuroscientists agree that creativity comes from the brain’s right hemisphere, while analytical and logical activity is thought to come from the left. Instead, they insist that creativity draws from both hemispheres. Now, a group of researchers may have just found this to be true. 

For their study, the researchers recruited 32 jazz guitar players with varied experience levels. Each musician was then asked to improvise to six jazz songs alongside programmed drums, bass and piano accompaniments while being recorded. Afterwards, each of their improvisations were played to four musicians and teachers specializing in jazz music to rate their creativity. Throughout each performance, the researchers also recorded high-density electroencephalograms (EEGs) from each musician. 

Following this, the researchers compared the EEGs taken during the performances of those considered to be highly creative and those considered less creative. In the end, they found that among those rated highly creative, there was typically more activity in the brain’s posterior left hemisphere regions, whereas in the lower-rated performances, there was typically greater activity in the frontal right hemisphere areas.

Alone, these findings may suggest that performances considered as highly creative are associated with activity in the posterior left hemisphere regions, whereas less creative performances are linked to the regions in the right hemisphere. However, this conclusion would be premature.

Upon controlling the results for factors such as experience level, the researchers found that virtually all of the differences between the performances rated as more or less creative could be found in the right hemisphere’s frontal region. Given that musicians with more experience in public performances tended to perform more creatively, the researchers thus said that from their research, it seems that although creativity is a ‘right-brain’ ability when a  person engages in an unfamiliar situation, when in a more familiar situation, creativity become more of ‘left-hemisphere’ pursuit.

If creativity is defined in terms of the quality of a product, such as a song, invention, poem or painting, then the left hemisphere plays a key role,” said John Kounois, one of the lead authors of the study. “However, if creativity is understood as a person's ability to deal with novel, unfamiliar situations, as is the case for novice improvisers, then the right hemisphere plays the leading role."


Sources: Science Daily, Science Direct

About the Author
  • Science writer with keen interests in technology and behavioral biology. Her current focus is on the interplay between these fields to create meaningful interactions, applications and environments.
You May Also Like
FEB 26, 2020
Neuroscience
FEB 26, 2020
Immunotherapy Could Be Used to Treat Traumatic Brain Injury
Video:  Further explaination of microglia and their various functions.  Traumatic Brain Injuries are physical ...
MAR 12, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
MAR 12, 2020
Brain Stimulants Help with Focus
Drugs like Ritalin, Adderall and similar medications have been assumed by the public as fuels to help people focus. But, ...
APR 25, 2020
Cardiology
APR 25, 2020
Young People with COVID-19 Die from Stroke
Hospitals around the US have reported that people aged between 20 and 50 with no risk factors are dying from strokes aft ...
MAY 06, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
MAY 06, 2020
Does Cannabis Damage Focus and Memory in Teenagers?
As cannabis products become more mainstream, increasing numbers of people from every age bracket are using them. Researc ...
MAY 19, 2020
Neuroscience
MAY 19, 2020
Researchers Find Brain Cells that Shut Down Pain
Researchers at Duke University have found that a small group of cells in the brain may be able to regulate our sense of ...
MAY 26, 2020
Neuroscience
MAY 26, 2020
Imitating Babies Allows Bonds to Form Quickly
Researchers from Lund University in Sweden have found that 6-month old babies know when an adult imitates them- and that ...
Loading Comments...