Tuesday, November 24, 2009

eye movement exercises improve creativity

For the past few weeks I have been thinking about learning about creativity and blogging about what I learn and how I apply it. I am sure that I will soon write a more complete post about my goals for this blog, but this is in interesting note to how creativity is applied.

I had thought about it for some time, but seeing this post, with creativity in the title, drove me to taking this first step. It is not enough to be creative, I must also act and 'do' creative.

From Boingboing:

A study in the scientific journal Brain and Cognition suggests that increasing the "crosstalk" between the brain's left and right hemispheres can increase creativity. Researchers from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey ran an experiment on 62 people to gauge creative thinking. After a first try at the task, some of the participants were told to shift their eyes horizontally back and forth for 30 seconds, an exercise that boosts the communication between the hemispheres.

The Boing boing post linked to BPS Digest, which explained more:

The key finding is that on their second creativity attempt, strong-handers who'd performed the horizontal eye movements subsequently showed a significant improvement in their creativity, in terms of being more original (i.e. suggesting ideas not proposed by others) and coming up with more categories of use. Staring straight ahead, by contrast, had no effect on creativity.

Another finding was that, overall, the mixed-handed participants performed better on the creativity task than the strong-handers, thus providing further evidence for a link between inter-hemispheric interaction, which mixed-handers have more of, and creativity. But it also turned out that mixed-handers didn't benefit from the horizontal eye movement task. It's as if they already have an optimum amount of hemispheric cross-talk so that the eye movements make no difference. This meant that after the strong-handers had performed the horizontal eye movements, their performance matched that of the mixed-handed participants.

I consider myself strongly left-handed, but I also feel that lefties, in trying to understand what righties want us to do, are typically not as strongly-handed as righties are.

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