Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists search for source of creativity

Date:
March 5, 2012
Source:
University of Southern California
Summary:
Researchers are working to pin down the exact source of creativity in the brain -- and have found that the left hemisphere of your brain, thought to be the logic and math portion, actually plays a critical role in creative thinking.

It takes two to tango. Two hemispheres of your brain, that is. USC researchers are working to pin down the exact source of creativity in the brain and have found that the left hemisphere of your brain, thought to be the logic and math portion, actually plays a critical role in creative thinking.

Related Articles


"We want to know how does creativity work in the brain?" said Lisa Aziz-Zadeh, assistant professor of neuroscience at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

If you paint or sculpt, you may think of yourself as right-brained. The right hemisphere of your brain often is thought to be the creative half, while the left is thought to be the rational, logical side.

But a new study from a team led by Aziz-Zadeh demonstrated that while the right half of your brain performs the bulk of the heavy lifting when you're being creative, it does call for help from the left half of your noggin.

The study, which focuses on how the brain tackles visual creative tasks, supports previous findings about how the brain handles musical improvisation.

Co-authored by USC graduate student Sook-Lei Liew and USC undergraduate Francesco Dandekar, the study was posted online last month in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.

"We need both hemispheres for creative processing," Aziz-Zadeh said.

The USC scholar and her team used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to scan the brains of architecture students, who tend to be visually creative.

While being scanned, the subjects were shown three shapes: a circle, a C and an 8. They then were asked to visualize images that could be made by rearranging those shapes -- for example, a face (with the 8 on its side to become the eyes, the C on its side to become the smiling mouth and the circle in the center as the nose).

The students also were asked to simply try to piece three geometric shapes together with their minds and see if they formed a square or a rectangle -- a task that requires similar spatial processing but not necessarily creativity.

Even though it mainly was handled by the right hemisphere, the creative task actually lit up the left hemisphere more than the noncreative task. The results indicated that the left brain potentially is a crucial supporter of creativity in the brain.

Aziz-Zadeh said she plans to explore more of how different types of creativity (painting, acting, singing) are created by the brain, what they have in common and what makes them different.

Support for the research came from the Brain and Creativity Institute at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, the USC Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, the National Science Foundation and the USC Provost's Ph.D. Fellowship program.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southern California. The original article was written by Robert Perkins. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. L. Aziz-Zadeh, S.-L. Liew, F. Dandekar. Exploring the Neural Correlates of Visual Creativity. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 2012; DOI: 10.1093/scan/nss021

Cite This Page:

University of Southern California. "Scientists search for source of creativity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120305132438.htm>.
University of Southern California. (2012, March 5). Scientists search for source of creativity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120305132438.htm
University of Southern California. "Scientists search for source of creativity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120305132438.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins