Published August 19, 2013
While previous research has indicated that people tend to use one half of their brain more than the other, a new study indicates that there’s no evidence to support this claim, Medical News Today reported.
Traditionally, people who are thought to be “left brained” are said to be more logical, analytical and detail-oriented thinkers, while “right brained” people tend to be more creative, thoughtful and subjective.
In a new study published in PLOS ONE, researchers used brain imaging to refute the claim that people typically rely more heavily on one side of their brains than the other.
Researchers examined magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of 1,011 people between the ages of 7 and 29 in order to measure their functional lateralization – the specific mental processes taking place in each sides of the brain.
After examining the brain’s network of connections, researchers concluded that there was no evidence indicating that the brains of the study participants were stronger on one side than the other, according to Medical News Today.
"It is absolutely true that some brain functions occur in one or the other side of the brain. Language tends to be on the left, attention more on the right,” said Dr. Jeff Anderson, lead author of the study. “But people don't tend to have a stronger left- or right-sided brain network. It seems to be determined more, connection by connection."
While some personality types may be associated with left brain or right brain functions, it doesn’t mean that their brains operate any differently, researchers said.
“We just do not see patterns where the whole left-brain network is more connected or the whole right-brain network is more connected in some people,” said Jared Nielsen, a graduate student in neuroscience at the University of Utah and one of the study authors. “It may be that personality types have nothing to do with one hemisphere being more active, stronger, or more connected."