Creativity & logical thinking is not a right / left brain phenomenon

Creativity & logical thinking is not a right / left brain phenomenon

Advances in cognitive neuroscience have overturned previous perceptions of the right brain / left brain theory of creativity and logical thinking. The concept that our society has held onto for many decades – that the left side of our brain is predominantly logical and analytical, while the right side is creative and sensual is incorrect. The perception that accompanies this theory is that a person is ‘skewed’ to be either creative or logical based on which side of their brain is ‘dominant’. Recent research has completely overturned this incorrect assertion of how our creative vs logical parts of our brain operate.

Recent research, using fMRI scanning, has found that creative and logical functionality both use different regions across the entire brain during both the creative and logical processes. What has been discovered is that these two functionalities do not operate simultaneously. Creative thinking happens best when the logical thinking is ‘switched off’ and visa-versa. The reason why you experience your most creative ideas, or are able to solve a problem you have been working on while you are in the shower or distracting yourself with another less cognitively challenging task, is because your logical brain needs to give your creative brain the head-space to do what it does best, be creative and connect the dots.

If you are wanting to become a little more creative than you currently are, you need to ditch the idea that you are either left or right brain dominant and start doing a few more activities that will allow your creative brain the opportunity to kick-in and create the connections that you aren’t finding when your brain is in logic-mode. Do something different that will give your cognitive brain a rest: go for a walk outside, take a shower, distract yourself with a less cognitively-heavy task, and then go back to the logical task you were working on. Doing so may just give your creative brain enough time and opportunity to solve the issue you had been working on.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *