Have you ever taken those online tests where you can find out what your spirit animal is, which Game of Thrones character are you, or which side of your brain is more dominant?
Well, the legitimacy of the first two tests is questionable, but there can be a more dominant side of the human brain. In fact, if you do a left brain vs right brain comparison, you will find some interesting data.
In this blog, we will discuss the difference in characteristics of the left and right sides of the brain. But first, let's discuss the basics of the human brain.
What Is Brain and How It Works?
Our brain is the central organ of our nervous system. With the spinal cord and peripheral nerves, our brain makes up the central nervous system. The human brain processes information that it receives from the senses and body, and sends messages back to the body.
However, our brain’s functions are much more complex than just sending and receiving messages. Some of its major functions involve:
- Controlling body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate and breathing.
- Accepting a flood of information about the surroundings of various senses.
- Handling physical movement when walking, talking, sitting or standing.
- Allowing to think, dream, reason and experience emotions
The brain is made of nearly 100 billion nerve cells, called neurons which are able to gather and transmit electrochemical signals. This ability of the brain and other parts of the central nervous system allows them to carry out the functions mentioned above.
Which Side of the Brain Is More Dominant – Left or Right?
For decades, researchers have debated over the existence of a more dominant side of the human brain. For a significant number of years, it was believed that some people have their left-brain dominant, while the others have their right-brain dominant.
Like other psychology myths, the left brain right brain myth also grew out of proper observations and was distorted and exaggerated until the 1960s, when psycho-biologist Roger W. Sperry did a study on the issue. He won a Nobel Prize in 1981.
According to Sperry’s theory, the two hemispheres of the brain function differently. The left hemisphere is the logical side of the brain, while the right hemisphere is the creative side of the brain.
Sperry’s research also highlighted the traits of the two sides of the human brain. Based on his research, the following are the characteristics of the two sides of the brain:
Left brain characteristics:
The left brain is more analytical, verbal, and orderly than its right counterpart. It is better are activities like reading, writing and computations. This side of the brain is connected to:
- Linear thinking
- Thinking in words
Right brain characteristics:
The right side of the brain, according to Sperry's study, is more visual and intuitive. It is associated with a more creative and less organised way of thinking. It is often connected to the following elements:
- Non-verbal cues
In a study conducted on 1,000 participants by the researchers at the University of Utah, it has been established that people prefer using one side over the other.
However, science writer Carl Zimmer wrote in an article for Discover magazine that irrespective of how lateralised the brain gets, the two sides still work together.
Today’s neuroscientists exclaim that the two sides of the brain collaborate to perform a wide range of tasks and that the two hemispheres communicate through the corpus callosum.
Dr. Michael Corballis, a psychology professor at the University of Auckland, agrees that the two hemispheres have somewhat different functions. However, it is wrong to say that one side of the brain is universally dominant. He says that dominance is task-related, not person-related.
Right Brain vs Left Brain – How It Can Impact Learning?
When it comes to learning, the collaborative effort of both sides of the brain is essential. Like if you are asked to solve a math problem, you need both hemispheres of your brain to work in harmony to solve it, even though the left hemisphere is more involved in the process. You need to understand that any of these sides of the human brain does not have "monopoly" on a particular trait.
The theory of left brain vs right brain is outdated. However, students may still learn about the theory as it helps them understand the mechanics of the brain. If you find an online quiz that helps you find out whether you are a left-brain thinker or a right-brain thinker, you can take the test just for fun. There’s no reason to pay much attention to the results.
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