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Salt Lake City (UPI) Aug 15, 2013
University of Utah scientists say their research suggests the popular conception of "right-brain," "left-brain" personality types has no basis in science.
In popular culture, left-brain behavior is logical, detail-oriented and analytical, while right-brain characteristics are said to be creative, thoughtful and subjective.
No so, the Utah neuroscientists say; a two-year study using brain imaging revealed no evidence indicting some people are more right-brained or left-brained.
The researchers identified specific networks in the left and right brain that process lateralized functions -- mental processes mainly specialized to one of the brain's left or right hemispheres -- but found no relationship suggesting individuals preferentially use their left -brain network or right- brain network more often.
"It's absolutely true that some brain functions occur in one or the other side of the brain," study leader Jeff Anderson said. "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," he said.
The findings should change the way people think about the old right-brain versus left-brain theory, the researchers said.
"Everyone should understand the personality types associated with the terminology 'left-brained' and 'right-brained' and how they relate to him or her personally; however, we just don't see patterns where the whole left-brain network is more connected or the whole right-brain network is more connected in some people," Utah graduate student Jared Nielsen said.
"It may be that personality types have nothing to do with one hemisphere being more active, stronger, or more connected."
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