Should we forget about brain lateralization?
As you probably know, our brain is made of two hemispheres that are different at a macro and functional level. A popular misconception about brain asymmetry is illustrated in the figure on the right, which we found on the web (this is one example among many others).
According to this view, linear reasoning and language functions such as grammar and vocabulary would be lateralized to the left hemisphere (LH) of the brain and creativity would be the business of the right hemisphere (RH). This popular view may be an over-reaction to the traditional emphasize on the development of the left hemisphere against the right one in our traditional Western education. Dozens of books and websites talk about this subject and some of them are quite interesting, such as “A whole new mind” by Daniel Pink.
Still, an extensive review of neuroscience studies of creativity done between 2000 and 2010 (Dietrich & Kanso, 2010) shows that the predominance of the RH on the LH in creativity is not proved at all – in one experiment at least, it’s even the opposite result that emerged.
The brain is lateralized, indeed, but in a more subtle and complex way than what is generally depicted.
Have you ever thought about how your life would be if one of your brain hemispheres was not fully functioning ? If you need some help to reflect, we suggest that you read for instance “My stroke of insight”, by Jill Bolte Taylor or have a look at her TED talk.