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Left Brain-Right Brain Myth Debunked

New research suggests that personality traits are not the result of one side of the brain being more active than the other.

It’s simple—If you’re logical, detail-oriented, and fairly analytical, then you’re said to be left-brained. On the contrary, if you’re more thoughtful, creative, and keep an open mind, then you are considered to be right-brained—until recently, that is. A new study published in the journal PLoS ONE has debunked these popular associations, revealing that we do not play favorites with particular halves of our brains.

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The study examined brain scans from 1,011 individuals ages 7 to 29. Sectioning the brain into 7,000 regions, scientists searched for evidence of “lateralization,” or certain mental processes occurring more prominently in one hemisphere of the brain than the other. 

What They Found: “It’s absolutely true that some brain functions occur in one or the other side of the brain,” said lead study author Jeff Anderson, M.D., Ph.D., in a University of Utah news release. “Language tends to be on the left, attention more on the right. But people don’t tend to have a stronger left- or right-sided brain network. It seems to be determined more connection by connection.” 

Why You Should Care: Aside from undermining your seemingly intelligent small talk, these findings change the way we think about our brains. University of Utah researchers suggest that our hemisphere-specific personality traits may actually have nothing to do with one side of the brain being more active than the other. Guess you’ll have to find another scapegoat for your overly analytical nature or off-the-wall ideas. 

 

 

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