No such thing as ‘right-
brained’ or ‘left-brained,’
new research finds
The terms “left-brained” and “right-brained” have
come to refer to personality types in popular culture,
with an assumption that people who use the right side
of their brains more are more creative, thoughtful and
subjective, while those who tap the left side more are
more logical, detail-oriented and analytical.
But there’s no evidence for this, suggest findings
from a two-year study led by University of Utah
neuroscientists who conducted analyses of brain
imaging (PLOS One, Aug. 14).
The researchers analyzed resting brain scans of
1,011 people ages 7 to 29, measuring their functional
lateralization — the specific mental processes taking
place in each side of the brain. Turns out, individual
differences don’t favor one hemisphere or the other,
says lead author Jeff Anderson, MD, PhD.
“It’s absolutely true that some brain functions
occur in one or the other side of the brain,” Anderson
says. “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.”
— AMY NOVOTNEY
APA launches new podcast, ‘Speaking of Psychology’
“Speaking of Psychology,” an audio
podcast series from APA’s Office
of Public Affairs, gives the public
a chance to hear top experts talk
about psychology and how it relates
to daily life.
The podcast, featuring
conversations with experts
in psychology, debuts with a
discussion about helping autistic
youth learn social skills.
“Teaching social skills to autistic
teens” features UCLA psychologist
Elizabeth Laugeson, PsyD,
Upcoming episodes will focus
on peer pressure, terrorism,
healthy eating, cyber heroes and
more. Subscribe to “Speaking of
Psychology” through i Tunes or
via APA’s website. Go to www.apa.
— STEVE SCHWARK