science | August 18, 2013

Scott Barry Kaufman: Is The Left-Brain, Right-Brain Theory Empty-Headed?

Scott Barry Kaufman recently published an article for Scientific American that's causing quite a stir. It's been widely believed for years that each hemisphere of your brain is responsible for different things. Your left brain is typically associated with logical thinking and problem solving while your right brain is attributed to creativity and artistic talent. Thanks to a new research report from the University of New Mexico, the left brain/right brain theory has been challenged. "Creativity does not involve a single brain region or single side of the brain," Kaufman asserts. With a finding that intriguing, it's no wonder his post broke a record for the most amount of 'likes' on the SciAmMind Facebook page

"The entire creative process—from the initial burst of inspiration to the final polished product—consists of many interacting cognitive processes and emotions," Kaufman explains. "Depending on the stage of the creative process, and what you’re actually attempting to create, different brain regions are recruited to handle the task." There are three main networks that are involved in cognitive creativity, Kaufman writes. They include: The Attentional Control Network, The Imagination Network and The Attentional Flexibility Network. The way that these networks interact with each other is key to understanding the neuroscience of creativity.

"[The research review] suggests that when you want to loosen your associations, allow your mind to roam free, imagine new possibilities, and silence the inner critic, it’s good to reduce activation of the Attentional Control Network (a bit, but not completely)," Kaufman writes, "and increase activation of the Imagination and Attentional Flexibility Networks." It's been shown that this process is taking place when you enter what's known as a "flow state"—something Kaufman speaks to in his keynotes. While there's still a lot to learn about how creative cognition takes place, these new findings are taking us in an exciting, new direction of neurological discovery. 

Scott Barry Kaufman shares new insight on harnessing and fostering creativity in his keynote presentations. He presents research applicable both in the classroom and boardroom, and teaches audiences how employees and students can be better equipped to succeed. To hire Scott Barry Kaufman as a speaker for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency Speakers Bureau.

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arts and pop culture | August 15, 2013