Pick a Side

Ever wonder why people’s talents are so one sided?  For example, I’m majoring in two English-based majors, but for some people, books and papers are absolutely horrifying.   Why is that? 

Scientists now know that the brain has two separate sides, or hemispheres.  Each side has its specialties.  The right side is better with spatial abilities, facial recognition, visual imagery, and music- the artsier side.   The left side is more likely to be better at language, calculations, and math- the more logical side.  In most people, the hemispheres work together and are connected.  However, the different sides cause different learning styles due to which is more dominant.  Scientists also say which side becomes dominant in the brain is somewhat of a choice.  When the going gets tough in school, we always prefer a certain way to learn.  For example, “right-brained” people probably learn better when they can see what they are learning using visual aids, diagrams, pictures, or graphs.  A “left-brained” person would probably learn better when they are told the information or when they read the information. 

These hemispheres don’t just influence your talents and learning preferences.  They can also affect actions such as sitting up straight or lying down when studying.  Which do you prefer?  Sitting down straight is more correlated with the left side, and lying down is more correlated with the right.  Also, the left-sided people are more likely to be able to speak their minds using words, whereas right-sided people have trouble.  A classic example is giving directions.  A left-brained person will use street names and building numbers; a right-brained person will try to show you the directions by describing the building you pass and what street corner you turn at. 

So the next time you’re sitting in Math class saying, “Why don’t I understand this,” blame your left hemisphere for being the weak one.

And in case you’re bored, here’s a quiz to find out which side you are!

Sources: 

http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/split.html

http://frank.mtsu.edu/~studskl/hd/hemis.html

http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1733

4 thoughts on “Pick a Side

  1. CAITLYN LOUISE COSSU

    The first source also gives information on right hand to left brain and vice versus correlation. If you are left-handed it is processed in the right brain, and if you are right-handed it is processed in the left brain. It also states that both sides correlate as mentioned in the beginning of this blog in the second paragraph.

    That’s also very interesting about the sexual orientation information. Perhaps this could be proof that we are born gay or not, which is a very focused on topic that is also criticized heavily by most scientists.

  2. CAROLYN ROSE DROZYNSKI

    I too find this subject to be very interesting. I was familiar with most of the information that you provided in your entry from both a human anatomy course that I had taken, so I went in search of something I hadn’t heard about before in regards to this subject. I actually found an article that suggests that one’s sexual orientation is linked to the dominant hemisphere of their brain. While I am skeptical, James Olsen (author of The Advocate) seems to be convinced that “there’s a direct correlation between a person’s hemispheric dominance in the brain and whether they are gay or straight.” You can decide for yourself after reading the article: http://voices.yahoo.com/new-theory-sexual-orientation-determined-dominant-11651630.html

  3. EJIRO E ENAOHWO

    This study is very cool, and I was a bit excited to take the quiz to find out what side I’m on (right), but I don’t know if I can fully agree with everything that was said about the right and left side tendencies. I read another study that said that both sides of the brain correlate. I found that speech is processed in both hemispheres, but predominantly in the left. In some left-handers, speech is processed either predominantly in the right hemisphere or on both sides. So although I’m not saying that your findings were wrong, I just think that it should be stressed that although one may be more dominant in a certain thing doesn’t mean that they wont be good at an attribute that is dominantly better in a right or let brained person. Honestly, I feel like there is no real way of telling what side of the brain someone is more dominant at.

    Here’r where I got more info: http://scienceblogs.com/neurophilosophy/2007/10/13/the-left-brain-right-brain-myt/

  4. KAITLYN ROSE ZURCHER

    I’ve always found this to be an interesting subject. It’s frustrating to see how some people are able to just “get” math and science, while others always have a harder time grasping such concepts. It’s fascinating to think that being a right- or left-brained person can have such a huge impact on your entire life.

    I took the quiz you linked, and it said I’m even on both sides, which is odd because I have always identified more with the right-brained dominance. But after looking at the characteristics of each, I realized that I have a pretty even mix of both. I could either take this news positively (I’m not confined to the characteristics of either one!) or negatively (I’m super average with no chance of being phenomenal in neither art nor science!*). Oh, well…

    * – Just kidding… maybe.

Leave a Reply