Electroencephalogram Patterns

Electroencephalogram (EEG) data were also collected. These indicated that the subjects had low activity in the right temporal area (T4) when listening to music and viewing an emotionally stimulating film. They also had low levels of activity in the left hemisphere, particularly in Broca and Wernickes' areas (F3 and T3). Hoppe and Kyle believed that this suggested a lack of inner speech. The same patients had high levels of activity in the left parietal area (P3).

Perhaps most important was the fact that the patients had what Hoppe called a high coherence between the left parietal area (P3) and the right frontal area (F4). This was interpreted as ''a possible inter-hemispheric aspect of inhibition of expression.'' The control subjects who were more emotional and expressive, in contrast, had coherence between the left temporal (T3) and the right frontal (F4) areas, which suggested ''a possible mechanism facilitating the transformation of the effective understanding in the right hemisphere into verbal expression of the lower left hemisphere."

Hoppe and Kyle believe strongly that communication between the hemispheres is necessary for creative thinking. Earlier, Salvatore Arieti described ''a magic synthesis," the title of his 1976 book, and Arthur Koestler proposed in his book The Art of Creation that creativity could be understood as bisociation. Both of them were pointing to the need for communication between and collaboration by the two hemispheres of the brain. There are other relevant data. Most, however, involve indirect measurement.

For example, there are studies of handedness, which is supposedly an indication of hemispheric dominance and preference. Yet other studies use dichotic listening tasks wherein particular messages are played to one ear or the other, and thereby presented to one hemisphere or the other. In a 1999 review of this research, Albert Katz indicated that the findings were not all that convincing, although they were in the direction in what would be expected with a right hemisphere contribution to creative thinking. It is very likely that such indirect measures will not be used very frequently or very much longer, given new technologies for brain imaging and the like. Importantly, Katz, like Hoppe and others, concluded that creative activity cannot be localized as a special function unique to one to the cerebral hemispheres. Rather, productive thought involves the integration coordination of processes subserved by both hemispheres. ... There appears to be privileged role in creativity to the cognitive functions associated with the right hemisphere. ... There is some evidence that different creative tasks may differentially call on cognitive resources for which the two hemispheres were specialized. ... Finally, there is some evidence that creativity related hemispheric asymmetries can be found both online (as the person performs a task) and as a consequence of habitual patterns of behavior.

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