Art, Mind, and Brain: A Cognitive Approach to Creativity

By Howard Gardner | Go to book overview

26
WHAT WE KNOW (AND DO NOT KNOW) ABOUT THE TWO HALVES OF THE BRAIN

IT IS BECOMING a familiar sight. Staring directly at the reader-- frequently from a magazine cover--is an artist's rendition of the two halves of the human brain. Surprinted athwart the left cerebral hemisphere (probably in stark blacks or grays) are such words as "logical," "analytical," and "Western rationality." More luridly etched across the right hemisphere (in rich orange or royal purple) are "intuitive," "artistic," or "Eastern consciousness."

Regrettably, the picture says more about a current popular-science vogue than it does about the brain. Claims about the division of labor between its two halves are becoming increasingly remote from what is known or even suspected. Indeed, the current packaging of human- brain research threatens to reveal more about academic huckstering than about neurological function. It is time, at least provisionally, to set the record straight.

Such an evaluation should begin with the recognition that height-

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