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The Physiology of Creativity – Death to Right/Left Brain Theory and Birth of a New Understanding of Our Creative Being

What I especially love about Krista Tippett’s On Being (American Public Radio) interview with neuroscientist Rex Jung is that he puts the kibosh to two long-held beliefs about creativity that have effectively given some of us a scientific data proving we’re NOT creative.

The first belief is the right brain/left brain theory – that right-brained people are more creative than left-brained people and that learning to access your right brand is the key to enhanced creativity.

Just listening to Rex’s explanation of why this widely accepted theory is WRONG and how it came to be common knowledge, spawning a host of books, courses and giving a whole slew of supposedly left-brainer types either a handy excuse for not tapping their inherent creativity, or the very sad truth that no matter how hard they try, they’ll never be as creative as those right-brainers, is, all by itself, worth the listen.

The second is the belief that brainstorming is a good way to generate creative thinking and ideas.

I recently shared a New York Times article that discussed just how counter-productive this practice is – as most of us who’ve participated in any sort of brainstorming session already know. Rex’s reference to that same article and his and Krista’s more expansive discussion of new findings in the physiology of creativity, might give those of us facing our next brainstorming session the courage we need to “just say no.”*

Listen to “Creativity and the Everyday Brain” from American Public Radio’s On Being

Read the New York Times article, “The Rise of the New Groupthink”

To our everyday MAGNIFICENT brains,

*To repeat a thought from the original article containing the link to the New York Times piece: Brainstorming is an extremely valuable tool in certain circumstances and when used for specific reasons. We’ll explore what those are in a future article in the un-stucking creativity series.

Susan B.