The Left Brain Vs Right Brain Myth Explained

Today we’re going to talk about your brain.

Specifically we’re going to look at each side of your brain, and what traits categorize someone as being either right-brained or left-brained.

The brain is basically the command centre of our bodies. It’s a magnificent and complicated organ that performs a million and one tasks a day.

Hungry? That’s your brain talking. Listening to a song you love, also your brain.

Even now, scientists are discovering new ways to study this amazing control centre because there’s so much we still don’t understand.

There’s so many different roles your brain plays that we could spend this whole article talking about it, but instead we’re going to talk about the two halves of the brain and how they process information differently.

Let’s check out the Left Brain-Right Brain theory.

You’ve probably heard people described as left or right brained at some point in your life.

And with good reason, this idea that we’re either right or left brained has been around since the sixties.

The Left Brain-Right Brain Theory explains that people’s brains tend to lean to one type of thinking. Either left brained thinking, the idea that you’re more mathematical, logical or analytical.

Or right brained thinking, more creative, imaginative, and intuitive. Do you already have a feeling about which side of the brain you might identify with most?

Chances are if you’re a creative, you’re right brained, and if you’re more logical thinking it’s the left side, but let’s check out a few more things about left or right dominance.

Just because the brain seems divided into halves, that doesn’t mean they don’t work together, because they do.

The fact that you’re thinking might be dominated by a certain side, doesn’t mean you don’t use the other half just as much.

The brain is physically separated by a line that runs down the centre called the corpus callosum. The brain communicates thoughts, feelings, sensations and more by transmitting messages through neurotransmitters to the brain’s neurons or cells.

You have literally billions of brain cells that are constantly receiving information about the world around us. And all of these messages are flying across either side of your brain at all times.

Each side is known as a hemisphere. The brain may perform specific tasks on a particular side of the brain, but the information is shared across the “bridge” (corpus callosum) regularly.

However, as we stated earlier the brain is extremely complicated, so just because you use the left brain for language, doesn’t mean your language abilities are strictly focused to one area.

There’s many parts of language, like body language, or emotion put into your words, everything works together in your brain to collectively make up who you are and how you process information.

Scientists are constantly studying the brain, and while the dominance theory has been around for a long time, new research is beginning to surface claiming that it’s not quite that simple.

There was a 2013 study from the University of Utah that showed brain scans which demonstrated that both sides of the brain share the load equally, regardless of your personality type.

They took the brain scans of over 1000 people between the ages of 7 and 29 and found there was no “sidedness” at all.

They claim the idea of identifying with one side of the brain or another is just a common misunderstanding that society has accepted rather than based on facts.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that brain dominance isn’t real, this just means there needs to be more research done.

As we keep saying, the brain is kind of a mystery to us. So, maybe the theory of being brain dominant is a little shaky…but why is it so ingrained into our thinking when we talk about the brain? Where did this idea come from in the first place?

You can thank Roger W. Sperry, a neuropsychologist and neurobiologist who won The Nobel Prize in 1981 “for his discoveries concerning the functional specialization of the cerebral hemispheres.”

In the 1960 Sperry discovered that one side of the brain is wired for specific tasks. The left side more for calculation and linguistic abilities, and the right leans more towards understanding patterns and difficult rhythms like in music.

Because this idea has been around for so long, and also the fact that it’s a neat idea to be either “right brained or left brained” people have adopted this way of thinking about the brain for decades.

In reality the research is showing that the brain works best when both sides are truly engaged.

We bet if you searched right now you could find many apps and books about harnessing the abilities of the left or right side of your brain in order to boost logical thinking (left side) or creativity (right side).

The fact is this theory is a little outdated and over simplified. The truth is no one is really right brained or left brained….we’re just kinda brained.

Everyone thinks differently and you brain works as a whole to help you interact and create in the world around you.

You never know what amazing things we’ll keep discovering about this 3 pound organ of wonder. What we do know is that you’re never too old to learn something new.

It’s a great idea to keep your brain strong and sharp as we get older by continuing to educate yourself.

That can be anything from painting to learning a new language or taking that music lesson you’ve always wanted to take! There is no end to your creative potential!