Magical ideation, creativity, handedness, and cerebral asymmetries: a combined behavioural and fMRI study

Neuropsychologia. 2011 Aug;49(10):2896-903. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2011.06.016. Epub 2011 Jun 21.


Magical ideation has been shown to be related to measures of hand preference, in which those with mixed handedness exhibit higher levels of magical ideation than those with either consistent left- or right-handedness. It is unclear whether the relation between magical ideation and hand preference is the result of a bias in questionnaire-taking behaviour or of some neuropsychological concomitant of cerebral specialization. We sought to replicate this finding and further investigate how magical ideation is related to other measures of laterality, including handedness based on finger-tapping performance, and cerebral asymmetries for language, spatial judgment, and face processing as revealed by fMRI. Creative achievement was also assessed by questionnaire and correlated with magical ideation and the other measures. Magical ideation and creativity were positively correlated, and both were negatively correlated with absolute hand preference but not with hand performance or with any of the cerebral asymmetries being assessed. The results do not support the notion that the observed association between magical ideation, creativity and hand preference has a neuropsychological explanation based on reduced cerebral lateralization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Creativity*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Hand*
  • Humans
  • Magic / psychology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Thinking
  • Young Adult