Creative People Aren't Exactly 'Right-Brained,' New Study Says

First Posted: Feb 24, 2017 05:12 AM EST

It has been long known that creative and artistic people are labeled right-brained, while the logical and analytic group is considered left-brained. But is this how the brain works exactly?

Medical Daily reported that a new study debunks the idea of which part of the brain works the most for artists and mathematicians. In fact, it actually points to how the brain's right and left hemispheres are wired with each other.

The brain has two types of tissue: the gray matter and the white matter. The gray matter is responsible for information processing, muscle control and sensory perception, while the white matter is in charge of carrying electric signals to various regions through "wires" called axons.

To come up with this conclusion, researchers studied the axons of 68 college-age participants using an MRI technique called diffusion tensor imaging. While their brain wirings were observed, the participants were asked to perform a series of tests to measure their creativity.

The researchers found out that the most creative group had more white matter wirings in the brain's frontal lobe than those who scored low in creativity. According to researchers, this study could help students who are taking career counseling find out if they are suited to be graphic designers or engineers.

"Maybe by scanning a person's brain we could tell what they're likely to be good at," said study co-author David Dunson, a statistician at Duke University, who worked with neurology professor Paul Thompson from the University of Southern California.

Observing these brain patterns may also help researchers advance their study to early detection of Alzheimer's disease as well as further understanding neurological conditions such as dementia, epilepsy, schizophrenia, traumatic brain injury or coma.

This study titled Bayesian Inference and Testing of Group Differences in Brain Networks will be published in the upcoming issue of the journal Bayesian Analysis.

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