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Creativity and the human brain

This is Science Today. The left side of the human brain is involved with almost all aspects of language - including comprehending and speaking a language. The right side is more important for certain high level visual spatial skills. In fact, it's often been said that the right side of the brain is more creative, but psychologist Christine Chiarello of the University of California, Riverside, who has been studying brain function in relation to language skills, says that's not really the case.

Chiarello: The studies that have really looked at creativity -- and there aren't a whole lot of them in terms of brain function -- seem to suggest that you really need both sides of the brain to be a really creative person. I think maybe some of the misconceptions out there because people tend to think if something's linguistic, if you're using language, that's not very creative - that somehow art and visual spatial things, those are creative. But when you really think about creativity, it involves lots of different skills coming up with a creative idea, to do an experiment or creative idea to write a story. That's creativity, too!

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.