Posted: Aug 27, 2013 3:17 PM by CBS News
(CBS News) Creative people are often described as right-brained, and analytical people as left-brained, but a new study calls that theory a myth.
Researchers at the University of Utah found no scientific evidence to back it up. The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, looked at more than 1,000 people lying quietly or reading, and found that everyone uses both sides of the brain.
Dr. Gayatri Devi, clinical associate professor of neurology at the New York University School of Medicine, explained on "CBS This Morning," "There's never one person or one group of people who exclusively used more the left side or more the right side. It was really task-dependent."
People use networks in their brains, Devi explained. "So if somebody is more artistic, let's say, then they would more likely use ... networks within the right side of the brain. So it's about the network they use. There are networks for language, there are networks for artistic ability. There are networks for math. So depending on what networks you use, you use one side of the brain more than the other."
"We all have the same brain," she added. "We may be running different programs at different times."
When people don't develop those networks, it can actually show, Devi said. "There are people who have what are called split brain syndromes where both brain hemispheres are disconnected from each other," she said. "So you give them a quarter, say, in their left hand. And their right side, the artistic side figures out it's a quarter. But then that information has to cross over the line to the left side of the brain, but it doesn't because the hemispheres are split. And therefore, they can't tell you that it's a quarter."
She added, "You really must use both sides of your brain in order to be a functional human being, in order to be able to navigate society."
For more with Devi and to learn more about the study, click here to watch video.
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