Left Menu
Development News Edition

Study looks for the source of creativity in the brain

Neuroscientists who studied the brain activity of jazz guitarists during improvisations have suggested that creativity prompted from an unfamiliar situation is a "right-brain" activity.

ANI | Washington DC | Updated: 06-04-2020 13:32 IST | Created: 06-04-2020 13:32 IST
Study looks for the source of creativity in the brain
Representative Image . Image Credit: ANI

Neuroscientists who studied the brain activity of jazz guitarists during improvisations have suggested that creativity prompted from an unfamiliar situation is a "right-brain" activity. A brain-imaging study out of Drexel University's Creativity Research Lab suggests that creativity is driven primarily by the right hemisphere in musicians who are comparatively inexperienced at improvisation. However, musicians who are highly experienced at improvisation rely primarily on their left hemispheres.

Recently published in the journal NeuroImage, the study suggests that creativity is a "right-brain ability" when a person deals with an unfamiliar situation but that creativity draws on well-learned, left-hemisphere routines when a person is experienced at the task. This research may contribute to the development of new methods for training people to be creative in their field.

For instance, when a person is an expert, his or her performing is produced primarily by relatively unconscious, automatic processes that are difficult for a person to consciously alter, but easy to disrupt in the attempt, as when self-consciousness causes a person to "choke" or falter. The study was led by David Rosen, Ph.D., a recent Drexel doctoral graduate and current co-founder and chief operations officer of Secret Chord Laboratories, a music-technology startup company; and John Kounios, Ph.D., professor of psychology and director of the doctoral program in applied and cognitive brain sciences in Drexel's College of Arts and Sciences.

The team recorded high-density electroencephalograms (EEGs) from 32 jazz guitar players, some of whom were highly experienced and others less experienced. For the study, the researchers compared the EEGs recorded during highly rated performances with EEGs recorded during performances that were rated to be less creative. For highly rated performances compared with less-creative performances, there was greater activity in posterior left-hemisphere areas of the brain; for performances with lower ratings compared with those with higher ratings, there was greater activity in right-hemisphere, mostly frontal, areas.

The results suggest that highly creative performances are associated with posterior left-hemisphere areas and that less-creative performance is associated with right-hemisphere areas. Some of these musicians who participated were highly experienced, having given many public performances over the decades. Other musicians were much less experienced, having given only a very small number of public performances.

When the researchers reanalyzed the EEGs to statistically control for the level of experience of the performers, a very different pattern of results emerged. Virtually all of the brain-activity differences between highly creative and less-creative performances were found in the right hemisphere, mostly in the frontal region. This finding is in line with the team's other research that used electrical stimulation to study how the creative expression is generated in musicians' brains and its study of how experienced and inexperienced jazz musicians reacted to being exhorted to play "even more creatively."

The new study reveals the brain areas that support creative musical improvisation for highly experienced musicians and their less-experienced counterparts and addresses the controversial question of the roles of the left and right hemispheres in creativity. (ANI)

  • PhD



In rebuking FBR, Pakistan’s courts take a stand for public health

The system, if implemented effectively, will allow Pakistans revenue service to combat the illicit trade in tobacco products and potentially add hundreds of millions of dollars to the states budget each year. ...

Dissecting how COVID-19 is catalyzing the trajectory of New World Order

The ensuing pandemic of COVID-19 has hit the globalization in two ways firstly, shrinking the importance of globalization as an economic force by curtailing mobility through worldwide lockdowns, and secondly, rejuvenating the idea of indig...

Domestic seafood trade in focus as COVID-19 changes market dynamics

As predicted earlier in a report titled Seafood industry post-COVID 19 An overhaul to trigger the growth of small fisheries, one of the changes going ahead would be increased focus on domestic seafood trade, driven by falling exports and su...

Migration post-COVID 19: Taking cues from the past to rebuild economies

Migrants are an irreplaceable part of even the essential workforce of developed countries and are on the frontline in the fight against the crisis, making an immeasurable contribution to saving the lives of natives with voting rights....


Latest News

Vakrangee ties up with LIC for micro insurance products

Vakrangee Ltd said on Tuesday it has tied up with Life Insurance Corporation of India LIC to distribute micro insurance products in unserved and underserved areas through its centres across the country. Further, renewal premium collection f...

Rapid antibody tests only for surveillance purpose: HC

Rapid antibody tests for COVID-19 are for surveillance purpose only, the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court noted on Tuesday, and said a final decision on conducting such tests in containment zones across Maharashtra is to be taken by the st...

Hamdard Labs to conduct clinical trials of immunity booster medicines against COVID-19

Health and wellness firm Hamdard Laboratories on Tuesday said it is planning to conduct clinical trial of its immunity booster medicines to assess their effectiveness against COVID-19. The company has submitted the proposal for required per...

Kollam murder case: Postmortem of snake underway, its DNA to be extracted

Kerala DGP Loknath Behera on Tuesday informed that a post-mortem of a snake is being conducted and its DNA will be extracted soon to probe into a death of a woman, which turned out to pre-planned murder by her husband, who purchased the sna...

Give Feedback