With much of Easter school holidays proving to be a wash-out, the hunt was on for engaging indoor activities to keep our 12 year old son occupied.
The solution? A 1000 piece jigsaw puzzleof Captain Phasma from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
In comparison to the intense sensory stimulation of our son's usual rainy-day activity - the PS4 - the act of sitting down together to unlock the quiet mysteries of a puzzle was to prove a surprising revelation.
After the initial stresses and frustrations of decanting the box of its contents and identifying the edge pieces, we soon found ourselves settling into a variety of spontaneous, self-appointed roles.
Twelve-year-old Charlie was the "spotter of unusual pieces." My husband was the "chief of puzzle forensics" which entailed attempting to pinpoint the exact location of any single puzzle piece that Charlie handed him.
I meanwhile, set about the task of sorting pieces into colours (whilst reminding myself of the many virtues of jigsaws for "exercising the different sides of the brain.")
According to the theory of left-brain/right-brain dominance, each side of our brain supposedly controls different types of thinking.
People who are said to be left-brained are often said to be more logical and analytical. While right-brained people are believed to be subjective and intuitive.
Except, as I discovered to my surprise today, it turns out this theory is actually a popular psychological myth.
As psychologist and psycho-social rehabilitation specialist Kendra Cherry explains in a recent article, the two sides of the brain actually collaborate to perform a wide variety of tasks.
She also cites a study of 1000 participants by researchers at the University of Utah which revealed that both sides of the brain, on average, were pretty much equal in their activity.
So why does the left-brain/right-brain myth persist?
According to Cherry, it's just another idea that has taken on a mind of its own within popular culture.
Students continue to learn about the theory "as a point of historical interest,"
But, as she explains, our understanding of how the brain works continues to evolve and change over time as researchers discover more about how the brain operates."
"The pop psychology notion of a left brain and a right brain doesn’t capture their intimate working relationship. The left hemisphere specializes in picking out the sounds that form words and working out the syntax of the phrase, for example, but it does not have a monopoly on language processing. The right hemisphere is more sensitive to the emotional features of language, tuning in to the slow rhythms of speech that carry intonation and stress."