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Saturday, January 08, 2011

Squeeze Left - Think Better (aka: Weird Science)

In today's Wall Street Journal's Ideas Market under the sub-heading "Intelligence":

An Israeli research team at the Brain Research Center of Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel including Dr. Abraham Goldstein and three others have discovered through controlled testing that squeezing a ball with your left hand can increase creative thinking.

In a study entitled  Unilateral Muscle Contractions Enhance Creative Thinking, the researchers have concluded, after asking the 40 subjects to squeeze a ball with their left hand--which controls the brain's right hemisphere--in advance of their taking a complicated cognitive test, that the advance activation of the right hemisphere increased their creative thinking and their correct answers on the test. 

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.
So, my friends, in advance of your next big exam or nerve-wracking job interview, practice squeezing a ball with your left hand.  You might just be surprised at the positive results!  Leave it to Israel (it's that improbable "Yiddishe Kopf" in action again).

Click here to read the complete abstract.



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