If you perform a quick Google search, chances are you will find an eye-watering amount of results about tapping into the right side of the brain for creativity. However, for some medical experts, creativity originating only from the right side of the brain is just a myth, and a new study proves that notion.
According to researchers at Duke University, better connections between both hemispheres of the brain is associated with higher instances of creativity. In the study, researchers analyzed white matter connections in the brain of 68 healthy college-aged participants. White matter, located underneath the outer gray matter area of the brain, carries billions of neurons, connections and electrical signals.
Utilizing an MRI method, diffusion tensor imaging, researchers were able to examine inside the skull of a living human being in an attempt to trace the paths of the axons. After that, computers were used to clamp down on the data, later converting it into three-dimensional maps of the brain.
When it was time to measure creativity, researchers used a problem-solving technique known as “divergent thinking,” which is the ability to come up with various answers to a single question. They were also asked to draw geometric designs in a short amount of time, and questionnaires about achievements in fields like music, writing, dancing, and science.
The responses were then calculated in computers, which was able to analyze all the data and identify differences in brain activity. The brain’s frontal lobe received the most attention; researchers also noted that creativity could be predicted by analyzing one’s brain network structure.
“Most statistical methods for analyzing brain network data focus on estimating properties of single brains, such as which regions serve as highly connected hubs. But each person’s brain is wired differently, and techniques for identifying similarities and differences in connectivity across individuals and between groups have lagged behind,” according to researchers.
With the success of the study, researchers aim to understand better unhealthy brains linked to dementia, schizophrenia, and other neurological disorders. However, doing so would be a massive challenge.