Unilateral muscle contractions enhance creative thinking
Following the notion of relative importance of the right hemisphere (RH) in creative thinking, we explored the possibility of enhancing creative problem solving by artificially activating the RH ahead of time using unilateral hand contractions. Participants attempted to complete the Remote Associates Test after squeezing a ball with either their left or right hand. As predicted, participants who contracted their left hand (thus activating the RH) achieved higher scores than those who used their right hand and those who did not contract either hand. Our findings indicate that tilting the hemispheric balance toward the processing mode of one hemisphere by motor activation can greatly influence the outcome of thought processes. Regardless of the specific mechanism involved, this technique has the potential for acting as a therapeutic or remedial manipulation and could have wide applications in aiding individuals with language impairments or other disorders that are believed to be related to hemispheric imbalances.
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