TURN YOUR WORLD UPSIDE DOWN

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On your work surface or fridge turn pictures of your family, your desk clock, or an illustrated calendar upside down.

Your brain is quite literally of two minds when it comes to processing visual information. The analytical, “verbal” part of your brain (sometimes called the “left brain”) tries to label an object after just a brief glance: “table,” “chair,” “child.” The “right brain,” in contrast, perceives spatial relationships and uses nonverbal cues. When you look at a familiar picture right side up, your left brain quickly labels it and diverts your attention to other things. When the picture is upside down, the quick labeling strategy doesn’t work—and your right-brain networks kick in, trying to interpret the shapes, colors, and relationships of a puzzling picture. The strategy of looking at things upside down is a key component for awakening the latent artist in us, as described by Betty Edwards in Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.