Influence of handedness and bilateral eye movements on creativity

Brain Cogn. 2009 Dec;71(3):204-14. doi: 10.1016/j.bandc.2009.08.017. Epub 2009 Oct 2.


We investigated the effects of increased inter-hemispheric interaction (IHI) on five creativity dimensions (appropriateness, detail, categorical distinctiveness, fluency, and originality) of the Alternate Uses Task. Two methods were used to indicate degree of IHI. Trait IHI was indicated by individual differences in handedness, mixed-handers showing greater IHI than strong-handers. State IHI was directly manipulated by central (control group) and bilateral viewing conditions of a 30 s eye movement task (EM). Results indicate significantly higher creativity for mixed-handers, as compared to strong-handers, for all five sub-scores separately and linearly combined. Bilateral EM increased originality and categorical distinctiveness (i.e., flexibility) of strong-handers, but had no effect on mixed-handers. Strong-handers in the bilateral EM group were not different from mixed-handers. Additionally, the bilateral EM effect on strong-handers had different durations for originality (up to 7-9 min) and categorical distinctiveness (up to 3 min). The results suggest that greater IHI can facilitate creativity of strong-handers, but that the characteristically higher IHI of mixed-handers was unaffected by the bilateral EM manipulation.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attention / physiology
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Cognition
  • Creativity*
  • Eye Movements / physiology*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Individuality
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Patient Selection
  • Photic Stimulation