Monday, November 28, 2011

Left Brain vs. Right Brain

by Lead Zeppelin
Are you better with numbers or colors? Do you prefer pencils over crayons? Are you more interested in how they filmed the movie rather than the movie itself? Math over writing? Dogs but not cats? Everybody’s different: some people are right-handed, some people are left-handed. But…did you know that you can be right-brained or left-brained?

A right-brained actor playing a left-brained physician
If you are left-brained, you’re probably more practical. You don’t “clown around” in class or daydream about pirates taking over robot island. You probably quietly take your notes (which will be color-coded, underlined, highlighted...) and proudly bring home your report card, covered in A’s (because you don’t tolerate B’s). You might not care for cartoons (sorry, SpongeBob) and would rather watch what’s on History (congratulations “History of Northern Egypt”!). Your favorite subjects will most likely be math and science and you’ll probably be more skilled in Microsoft Excel then you are in decorating the living room! Actually, some left-brainers wish they weren’t so into algebra and chemical reactions. In fact, sometimes left brained people wish they could be more creative and less, well, “brainy”! If you are left brained, you may eventually become a scientist, judge, lawyer, mathematician, librarian, or doctor.
If you are right brained, you’re most likely daydreaming about ways to repopulate unicorns, and when your math teacher asks you what pi is, you’re probably going to say “a sweet pastry with apples and cinnamon.”. You have a shelf filled with journals full of your ideas and ponderings marked "BOOK NUMBER 1," "BOOK NUMBER 2," and "BOOK NUMBER 3," and you and your friends will probably meet more for book club than you will for study sessions. You get bored at long meetings, enjoy telling stories (or being told stories), and you also have the wonderful, convenient ability of being able to listen to music or television while studying (you have NO clue how lucky you are)! The right brain excels in poetry, art, and endless dreaming. You see the world in your own very special way and you love imagining the impossible. But even with all of your right-brained person’s talent and creativity, you might sometimes wish you could understand the words in your science textbooks more than the words of Shakespeare! Some common occupations for a right-brained person are forest ranger, beauty specialist, politician, athlete, artist, craftsman, and actress.

Do you want to know if your right brained or left brained? Take this test.

Editor's Note for "Right Brain vs. Left Brain"
by DblXSciJrEd

So you're a budding poet...don't go labeling yourself just yet. Although many studies have confirmed that the two hemispheres of the brain perform distinct functions, very few people are truly right- or left-brained (unless they've had a hemisphere or corpus callosum removed). Hemispheric lateralization--the fancy term describing distinct functioning of the left and right sides of the brain--may contribute to certain abilities, but it's important to note that both sides of the brain can communicate via the corpus callosum, a tract of white fiber that keeps the left brain up to speed on what the right brain is doing (and vice-versa). Remove the corpus callosum and this "sidedness" becomes more pronounced. For example, a patient shown an orange in his left field of vision may see an orange, know that it is an orange, but would be unable to say "it's an orange." This is because the other side of the brain (right) directs speech formation. With both sides acting together, it is possible to understand and describe. It's a team effort.

I took the test at the link that Ms. Lead Zeppelin so kindly provided. My results were 59% left-brained, 41% right-brained. (I'll now pause for some of my close relatives to gasp.) I am certain that fifteen years ago these percentages would have been flipped if not even  more heavily-weighted to the right. I used to be able to write one heckuva poem or short fiction and couldn't solve a proof to save my life. Sometime in my early 20s, though, something switched on in that left side and has made me the organized, linear-thinking, non-fiction-reading, logical person I [sort of] am now. So if you're despairing over your perceived shortcomings, give it a few years and exercise your brain in the subjects that don't come easily. Relax, embrace your talents...even Einstein made a silly face once in a while. 

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