Having taught brainstorming techniques to audiences as diverse as law students, marketing professionals, technology teams and internal auditors, I was impressed to see the skills in action in a real-life problem-solving context. What did the team from Ruckus do? One additional challenge when brainstorming is recognizing our strengths and weaknesses in the process. Because brainstorming requires elements of both the left-brain and right-brain, we can all contribute.
She used real estate all the time! Refresh and try again. Life turns it into a mind. In this article, the authors present highlights of the research presented and the discussion of its implications. He likened the life of an idea in a large corporate setting to that of a bill going before the U. We will contact you if necessary.
Because we all are inclined to leverage one side of the brain over the other, we tend to want to stay in the part of the brainstorming process that comes naturally and is easiest for us. Understanding the importance of both contributions is important to having a successful problem-solving conversation. Solving problems requires both a left-brain analysis and right-brain creativity. We help professionals communicate with greater impact by teaching them to focus less He was a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for his split-brain research, which was the seminal work that taught us that certain functions in the brain are lateralized, that is, concentrated in one hemisphere or the other.
An interesting part of the work Sperry did with one of his collaborators, Dr. Michael Gazzaniga, was to find out what would happen to patients whose corpus callosums corpora callosa if you are pedantically inclined were severed. In short, so long as patients had both eyes and both hands available to perform tasks, they were generally all right. But when only one hand was allowed to feel an object, and only one eye was allowed to read a certain word, a lot of fascinating things happened.
Patients reported seeing the word if they saw it with their left eye, but not if they saw it with their right eye. In fact, if shown the name of an object with their left eye interpreted with their right brain , their left hand could identify and find the object. But then when the patient was asked about it requiring the left brain , they were unable to say what word they'd been shown and unable to explain why they were holding it. Spoken language, it seemed, was centered in the left side of the brain; while the ability to analyze and comprehend was centered in the right.
However, pop-culture psychology decided to misunderstand and exaggerate this. Ever since then, there's been this popular notion that people with strong tendencies toward analytical or artistic pursuits must be dominant in one hemisphere or the other.
The idea can be traced back to two facts. The first fact is that, as Sperry and Gazzaniga demonstrated, many brain functions are localized. Just about any given function is centralized in a particular brain region. Two of the most familiar are language, which is localized mainly in the left hemisphere; and facial recognition more in the right hemisphere.
Today we can verify these types of observations which technologies such as fMRI functional magnetic resonance imaging which shows where blood flow is greatest in the brain at a given moment, a technology that was unavailable in Sperry's day.
If someone is working on math problem, we'll see more activity in a different part of the brain than we would if they were looking at a painting. The second fact is that people are either left handed or right handed. For the most part, the left side of the body is controlled by the right side of the brain, and the right side of the body is controlled by the left.
A right handed person working a complicated task with his right hand will show more fMRI activity in his left hemisphere, and vice versa. So it stands to reason — apparently — that a leftie will tend to be more skilled at activities that are lateralized in the right part of the brain, such as composing music, and a rightie will tend to be more skilled at things like computer programming. This has largely given rise to the myth that left handed people tend to be more creative: better artists, better musicians.
So what's the problem with these two facts? Despite that they're both true, why are they not reasons that people are left brain dominant or right brain dominant?
Although brain functions can be lateralized, the brain as a whole is a single unit. The corpus callosum is there for a good reason; the brain hemispheres must be linked to work together, just as your computer's internal components must be linked by cables. The fact that certain functions tend to be lateralized has nothing to do with any "dominance" of one hemisphere or the other in people with particular skills.
And although left-handed and right-handed people will tend to show differing levels of activity in their hemispheres when performing certain tasks, it's not necessarily a requirement. An important feature of the brain is an ability we call neuroplasticity, which is its power to relocate certain functions when needed. Sometimes brain injuries can destroy a region. Neuroplasticity means that other parts of the brain can often re-learn abilities to varying degrees that used to be localized in the damaged region.
A left-handed person need not necessarily become right-handed after suffering an injury in the right hemisphere. A familiar example of neuroplasticity is the ability of stroke victims to regain functions such as speech, agility, and even symmetrical control of facial muscles after losing those abilities to the brain damage caused by their stroke. Notably, the majority of patients who undergo perhaps the most frighteningly-named surgical procedure, the hemispherectomy, are able to live relatively normal lives at least when the procedure is done earlier in childhood; older patients don't often fare as well.
Memory, personality, and aptitudes are usually unchanged after the procedure. Manual dexterity and vision are usually heavily impaired on the side opposite the hemisphere that is removed, but that's the result of the loss of certain anatomical structures. Studies of hemispherectomy patients have shown no correlation between which half was removed and the patients' language abilities, analytical abilities, and other skills we tend to relate to brain sidedness.
Neuroplasticity is the basic explanation for why personalities and aptitudes are not correlated with any sort of hemisphere "dominance"; to the neurologist, it's essentially a meaningless term. Nevertheless, you will find that any number of companies sell tests claimed to help you better understand your aptitudes and potential based on determining whether you're left-brained, right-brained, anterior-brained, posterior-brained, or just about anything else.
Companies promise to improve your business performance and help you identify areas for improvement. One even provides a page report including an 8-axis radar chart, your ranges of "analysis, expression, drive, and stability", and the word "neuroscience" is peppered throughout the marketing materials and products of these companies.
In fact it's supported by no evidence at all, and no legitimate neuroscience pretends to measure these traits. Steven Novella summed it up aptly in his final sentence of a article in Neurologica :. Be suspicious of anyone touting it as a legitimate or insightful way of looking at human personality or cognition.
Neuroscience is, at once, one of the most complex and nascent fields in current research.
Brains are perhaps the most complicated and nuanced structures in nature. Send not thy money to those who claimed to have it all figured out.
As a neurologist at the University of Arizona told me after reading a draft of this episode, brain tests such as brain sidedness, Myers-Briggs , etc. Please contact us with any corrections or feedback.
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Cite this article: Dunning, B. Skeptoid Media, 10 Jun Choi, C.
Nature America, Inc. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 10 Feb. Gazzaniga, M.