Forget about left brain right brain

Have you heard this before? That one side of the human brain is responsible for creative thinking while the other is more logical and reasoning-oriented?

It’s not true.

The brain is certainly split (physically), but connections and various computations related to creativity or logic both take place across various parts of it, not just one side or the other.

This differentiation exists because it’s easier for many people to understand the brain that way. We do seemingly have two sides to our thinking (one that’s very rational, based on logic, the other that’s more wild and creative), but the fact is that both sides of the brain work very much alike (with the exception of language being primarily activated in the left hemisphere).

When someone is acting creative they’re firing up various parts of their brain that everyone else has too. Unsurprisingly, creativity is very much a learned trait as it is an inherent capability of the brain. It’s like learning to draw, or sing, or program a computer game. When you’re creative you are actually using various parts of your brain (all of the parts associated with the ideas or topics you’re focused on, actually).

The real brain lateralization lies in forward and backward parts of it. It’s the prefrontal cortex in the front of your brain that is responsible for high-level, executive tasks such as goal setting and making decisions. While the back of your brain, the occipital cortex, is reserved primarily for vision-related processes.

And now you know.

Original photo by Andy Powell. Hat tip to Paul King for clarifying for all of us.