Mixing Fact With Fiction
Its true each hemisphere of the brain controls different functions, but this fact doesnt relate to personality. The misleading idea of left vs. right brained people originates from science and has become fictionalized over time.
Take TheStrange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, for example. Robert Louis Stevensons fictional characters represented the duality of human nature and explored the idea of a logical left brain competing with an emotional right brain .
People love to learn about their own psychology, and they crave definitive answers. We love classification schemes like astrology, Myers-Briggs and endless personality quizzes, even though, according to Inc., calling yourself left brained or right brained is totally meaningless.
Create An Inspiration List
Keep a list of what inspires you. Maybe on your list is a book you want to write, or a blog you want to start, a meal you want to prepare or a card you want to send. Notice these things, love these impulses. Put them down as a running list and start taking action. Write that card, cook that meal, start writing.
There Are Differences Between The Hemispheres Though Right
You might not have a more dominant half, but your brain really is split into two hemispheres, left and right.
And the left and right hemispheres are not the same. They are highly similar and redundant, though. Most processes that you’d find on the left side also take place on the right, and vice-versa.
The book “Disorders of the Nervous System: A Primer” by Dartmouth neurologists Dr. Alexander Reeves and Dr. Rand Swenson, quotes Dr. Harold Wolff one of the great brain scientists of the 20th century as saying that both sides of the brain have “the capacity to express appropriate feelings, appetites and drives; the capacity learning, memory, logic, etc.; the capacity to maintain appropriate thresholds and tolerance for frustration and failure, and to recover promptly from their effects; the capacity to maintain effective and well-modulated defense reactions .”
That’s some dense text, but the point is simple: Just about everything about your brain that makes you human exists on both sides of the organ.
Need proof? If you remove a hemisphere from the brain of a 3-month-old baby a surgery that doctors sometimes perform in cases of severe epilepsy and other disorders, according to the Cleveland Clinic that baby can still grow up with normal memories and a normal personality. Surgeons pulled off the surgery, known as a hemispherectomy, “hundreds of times” in the last century, according to Scientific American.
So, what’s the difference between the two hemispheres?
Also Check: What Does Mdma Do To Your Brain
Detailed Information About The Functions And Characteristics Of The Left Brain
- It has the ability to understand the sum of any situation/look at things from.
- It involves the movement of large muscles such as walking.
- It plays an important role in maintaining balance.
- It is responsible for non-verbal communications.;
- It can sense smell, taste, and sound.
- It is responsible for emotional functions.;
- It regulates avoidance behavior.;
- It controls the immune system.
- It is in charge of involuntary body functions like digestion, the beating of the heart, and breathing.;
- It is stimulated by new experiences.;
- It affects the persons ability to pay attention to details.
- Fine motor skills.
- Convert sounds to language and translates meaning.;
How To Use This Information To Help Your Child
Because children with weak left brains tend to be disorganized and have difficulty focusing for any length of time, they often don’t perform well in school and parents may become discouraged. However, the left side of the brainwhich tends to focus on the details of life, is logical, and breaks down problems into solvable piecescan be brought up to speed.
Enjoy These Articles Related to Brain Function and Development
Don’t Miss: Where Is Your Brain Stem
Brain Myths Of Creativity #3: Mental Illness Makes People Creative
Some people have suggested that there is a link between creativity and mental illness. This link could be best described as the crazy creative hypothesis or the mad genius hypothesis. While it may be easy to think of highly creative historical figures who may have been suffering from mental illness, such as the artist Vincent Van Gogh , poet Sylvia Plath , writer Leo Tolstoy , or others, they represent a small percent of individuals with mental illness and a small percent of people who are creative. Mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, and alcoholism have been studied for their potential link to creativity. The findings suggest that highly creative people are not necessarily mentally ill, but may often think in ways similar to individuals with mental illness. In fact, Nancy Andreasen, a leading scholar on the neuroscience of creativity, who has worked with some of the most intelligent and creative people in modern science and the arts, has suggested that many highly creative individuals who were diagnosed with mental illness were not creative because of the mental illness but were creative despite the mental illness working against them .
The Two General Principles Of Ideas
James describes two principles of the production of ideas, which I really like:
1. an idea is nothing more or less than a new combination of old elements
2. the capacity to bring old elements into new combinations depends largely on the ability to see relationships
This second one is really important in producing new ideas, but its something our minds need to be trained in:
To some minds each fact is a separate bit of knowledge. To others it is a link in a chain of knowledge. 1
To help our brains get better at delivering good ideas to us, we need to do some preparation first. Lets take a look at what it takes to prime our brains for idea-generation.
Don’t Miss: Why Is The Brain Important
Why The Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain Theory Is Probably Wrong
Although Rebecca and her team would be keen to carry out this exciting research using a larger number of participants , theres one theory thats been completely disproved by their tests.
For years, people have been excited by the theory that creatives use the right side of their brains when making art and so there really could be an artistic side of the brain.
However, since the all-important gray matter was found in both the left and the right sides of the art students brains, it seems its time to put this particular art psychology theory to bed.
Research suggests musicians have 130% more gray matter in their brains than people who arent musical
Producing New Ideas Is A Process
The production of ideas is just as definite a process as the production of Fords; James Webb Young
In his book, A Technique for Producing Ideas, James Webb Young explains that while the process for producing new ideas is simple enough to explain, it actually requires the hardest kind of intellectual work to follow, so that not all who accept it use it. 1
He also explains that working out where to find ideas is not the solution to finding more of them, but rather we need to train our minds in the process of producing new ideas naturally.
Recommended Reading: Where Is The Corpus Callosum Located In The Brain
/7you Too Can Be Creative
It is said that “creativity is a gift” and not everyone is blessed with it. But as per science, creativity is a skill that is acquired over a period of time through a process of learning and constant practice. If you are one of those who think that being creative is not your cup of tea, trust us that is not true. The easiest way to be more creative is by training the right side of your brain.
How The Brain Works
The brain is our motherboard, storage, operating system, and more. The nuances of its functions canât be summarized in a black-and-white dichotomy, which is how the left-and-right-brain idea came around.
The brain is divided into symmetrical left and right hemispheres. Each hemisphere is in charge of the opposite side of the body, so your right brain controls your left hand. The right hemisphere also takes in sensory input from your left side and vice versa.Â;
The brain is segmented into regions called lobes. Your lobes isolate your brainâs functions to specific areas.
- The frontal lobe controls your body movement, personality, problem-solving, concentration, planning, emotional reactions, sense of smell, the meaning of words, and general speech.
- Your parietal lobe controls your sense of touch and pressure, sense of taste, and bodily awareness.
- The temporal lobe governs your sense of hearing, ability to recognize others, emotions, and long-term memory.Â;
- The occipital lobe controls the important sense of sight.
- The cerebellum governs fine motor control, balance, and coordination.
- The limbic lobe controls emotions.Â;
Read Also: Can Diabetes Cause Memory Loss
/7the Endless Possibilities Of The Right Brain
The human brain is separated into two cerebral hemispheres-the left and the right brain. Both parts of the brain control different parts of the body and have different functions. The left side of the brain controls your bodys right side and vice versa. When you are being analytical, attentive, objective, rational or are trying to process a language, you are using the left or logical side of your brain. The right side is creative, impulsive, intuitive, thoughtful and is driven by feelings, beliefs and subjective thinking. Training the right side of your brain can stimulate your creativity and imagination. Here are 5 easy ways to train the right side of your brain:
Bringing It All Together
The hard work is mostly in gathering the materials your brain needs to form new connections, but you can do a lot to help your brain process all of this information, as well.
In a paper by neuroscientist Dr. Mark Beeman, he explains how we come to our final aha moment of producing an idea, by way of other activities:
A series of studies have used electroencephalography and functional magnetic resonance imaging to study the neural correlates of the Aha! moment and its antecedents. Although the experience of insight is sudden and can seem disconnected from the immediately preceding thought, these studies show that insight is the culmination of a series of brain states and processes operating at different time scales.
I love the way that John Cleese talks about these aspects of creativity and how our minds work. He gave an excellent talk years ago about how our brains develop ideas and solve creative problems, wherein he discussed the idea of our brains being like tortoises. Heres how I explained his theory when I wrote about it earlier this year:
The idea is that your creativity acts like a tortoisepoking its head out nervously to see if the environment is safe before it fully emerges. Thus, you need to create a tortoise enclosurean oasis amongst the craziness of modern lifeto be a safe haven where your creativity can emerge.
He offers a couple of useful ideas to help you achieve this, as well:
Recommended Reading: Which Side Of The Brain Controls Language
Creativity Meets Tech Why We Need Both Our Left And Right Brain
I played with the vacuum cleaner as a child rather than G.I. Joes and I have two degrees in engineering. If that doesnt tell tell you what side of my brain I have focused on most of my life, Im not sure what will.
If you were not aware, the left side of the brain is our logical and analytical thinking part of our brain. It controls how good we are at math, science, and critical thinging. Conversly, the right side of the brain is our creative and imaginative part of our brain. For the first 30 years of my life, I think I focused mostly on the left side of my own brain.
I was good a physics, I studied engineering, and I wrote software. It doesnt get much more logical than that. Because of the logical skills that had developed in my left brain, I tended to excel at these skills that involved a lot of technology. I could program, I could understand engineering systems, and I could debug and solve many technical problems. Perfect match for an engineer right? Well it was, except for the second half of the skills I needed to succeed at life.
The problem was I tended to struggle with the skills that my right brain controls. I struggled with social interaction , I struggled with thinking outside of the box, and I struggled with being open-minded about different doing things differently.
What Is Creativity
Creativity has long fascinated everyone from artists to philosophers to psychologists. Why do humans feel the need to be creative and enjoy creative material? While creativity is a basic part of human thinking, what counts as creativity and how do we measure it? Creativity is often viewed as a subjective field, meaning that everyones personal opinion about creativity is different, so we need to have a really clear definition in order to understand what creativity is. So, what exactly is creativity? While there are many components of creativity, including originality, pleasure, value, process, and imagination, the definition that scientists use to study creativity puts those components together to say that creativity is an ability to produce something that is both novel and has utility . This definition allows scientists to develop of testable hypotheses about how creativity arises from the human brain.
Don’t Miss: Can Medicine Cause Memory Loss
How Did The Left
The two hemispheres of the brain are slightly different anatomically and microscopically .
And, the two hemispheres of the brain do perform different jobs. In the industry, we call this lateralisation of brain function. Lateralisation is the tendency for some neural functions or processes to be specialised to one side of the brain or the other
For example, the left side of the brain controls movement on the right side of the body and vice-versa. Speech and language, are typically jobs performed by the left hemisphere. But not ALL aspects of speech are left-sided. Intonation, for example, is found on the right.;As an interesting asidelanguage and handed-ness are related. Whereas 97% of right-handed people have their speech centre on the left, only 70% of left-handers do.
Also, studies of patients with tumours or stroke show that our sense of our body and limbs in space is more likely located in the right hemisphere.
Some neuroscientists theorise that these differences and the brain asymmetries of language, spatial perception and handedness probably led to the prevailing myth that personality and styles of thinking are also located to one hemisphere or the other.
Whats Really Happening On Each Side Of The Brain
Its not all fantasy. Certain areas of the brain do manage particular functions, such as movement and sight. For example, the left side of your brain controls your right arms and legs, and vice versa.
In the 1800s, neurologists Broca and Wernicke determined that their patients who were having trouble communicating had damage to the left temporal lobes, which suggested that the left brain controlled language, as explained by TedEd.
Additionally, Nobel Prize-winning research by Roger Sperry demonstrated in the 1960s that each hemisphere of the brain specializes in certain tasks. By studying epilepsy patients who have undergone a procedure that separates the left and right hemispheres of the brain, Sperry determined the left side of the brain handles analytical and verbal tasks, while the right half takes care of the spatial perception tasks and contributes emotional context to language.
Sperry explained, The great pleasure and feeling in my right brain is more than my left brain can find the words to tell you,’ according to Nobelprize.org.
The results of this study and others have been misunderstood to link brain lateralization with individual personality traits, such as left brained people being logical and right brained people being perceptive. But according to Harvard Health blog, if you performed a CT scan, MRI or autopsy on the brain of a mathematician and compared it to the brain of an artist, you probably wouldnt see a difference.
Also Check: Can Severe Dehydration Cause Memory Loss
How Do We Define Creativity
We all interact with, process, and produce creativity differently, which makes creating a universal definition of creativity very challenging. As Steve Jobs reminds us, even creative people have a hard time seeing the things they think and create as creative! The difficulty in recognizing and defining creativity might stem from the various forms of creative outlets . The difficulty may also be due to differences in how people think about the creative thinking processes . However, no matter how different our approaches in understanding creativity may be, forming a definition of creativity will help us to understand its various benefits, processes, and expressions.
Brain Myths Of Creativity #1: Left Brain And Right Brain
Have you ever been asked if you are left brained or right brained ? This question refers to the idea that each hemisphere of the brain is specialized for different abilities. In general, the left hemisphere has been thought to specialize in understanding words, processing mathematical information, and thinking analytically . The right hemisphere, on the other hand, was thought to specialize in processing non-verbal information, spatial information, music, emotions, and creativity. As we see in creativity and other complex functions, a number of specialized structures in the brain work together to accomplish something. Localization of certain abilities to one side of the brain or the other was first found in certain individuals who had the main communication between their hemispheres, the corpus callosum, cut so that each hemisphere was essentially working independently. In most people, however, the two sides of the brain are able to communicate, so while brain structures may have some specialization, most complex brain functions require many parts of the brain working together.
- Figure 3 – The leftright brain myth.
- People used to believe that the two sides of the brain were specialized for different activities: the logical left and creative right hemispheres. Retrieved from: .
Recommended Reading: What Organ System Is The Brain In