Essay, Research Paper: Brain Sides


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The human brain is a miraculous organ. It regulates thought, memory, judgment,
personal identity, and other aspects of what is commonly called mind. It also
regulates aspects of the body including body temperature, blood pressure, and
the activity of internal organs to help the body respond to its environment and
to maintain the body's health. In fact, the brain is considered so central to
human well-being and survival that the death of the brain is considered in many
parts of the world to be equal legally to the death of the person. In the past
fifteen years or so there has been a lot of talk of left brain and right brain
people. Clearly their are misconceptions and truths about how our brain
hemispheres operate. First of all the myth of the left brain and right brain
theory. This states that generally people see the left hemisphere of the brain
controlling logic and language and the right, creativity and intuition. In
addition people differ in their styles of thought, depending on which half of
the brain is dominant. Some people believe that most of what these notions state
is farce. Next the article explores the history of this fascination of the left
and right hemispheres of the brain.. It wasn't until 1962 when Roger W. Sperry
began experimenting on certain aspects of the brain that contribute to the truth
of the left and right brain theory. Sperry studied people who had undergone
surgical division of the corpus callosum, the bridge between the two
hemispheres. His studies showed that, "an object placed in the right hand
(left hemisphere) could be named readily, but one placed in the left hand
(nonverbal right hemisphere) could be neither named nor described. Doreen
Kimura. Kimura developed behavioral methods which involved presenting visual
stimuli rapidly to either the left or right visual fields. Another important
method developed was "dichotic listening" which centered around the
use of sound to study the hemispheres. Through these tests and the continual
study the theory that the left brain controlled ended. Instead a new theory was
born known as the two-brain theory. This said that at different times one of the
two hemispheres would be operating. An example of this is that the right
hemisphere is in control when an artist paints but the left hemisphere was in
control when a novelist wrote a book. This theory failed because of one physical
studies showed that people with hemispheres surgically disconnected could
operate in everyday life. Also, research demonstrated that each hemisphere had
its own functional expertise, and that the two halves were complementary. There
are five pionts two each hemisphere. 1. The two hemispheres are so similar that
when they are disconnected by split-brain surgery, each can function remarkably
well, although quite imperfectly 2. Although they are remarkably similar they
are also different. The differences are seen in contrasting contributions. Each
hemisphere contributes something to every action a person takes. 3. Logic is not
confined to the left hemisphere. Although dominant in the left logic is present
in the right hemisphere. 4. There is no evidence that either creativity or
intuition is an exclusive property of the right hemisphere. 5. Since the two
hemispheres do not function independently, and since each hemisphere contributes
its special capacities to all cognitive activities, it is quite impossible to
educate one hemisphere at a time in a normal brain. Through my research I came
to the conclusion that people are not purely left or right brained. There is a
continuum in which the hemispheres work together in harmony. Often the left or
right hemisphere is more active in some people but it is never the sole
operator. "We have a single brain that generates a single mental
self." , but merely somewhere on the scale between left and right brain.
Some of us are extreme left, few extreme right and most in the middle leaning
left a bit (this is where I fell).
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