The Right-hand Brain
Carrying on from our previous article about the brain, we should mention that it has two distinct neo-cortexical sections which are the right and left hemispheres which ‘contain’ very different attributes. Before we go on, it might be useful to assign them to their respective hemispheres. We have made it a bit difficult by mixing them up so see if you can decide which ones correspond to each section.
Number What if…
It was Robert Sperry in 1981 who discovered that the brain has functional specialization in the cerebral hemispheres. Not that he discovered that it has two hemispheres because we had known this for some time.
The importance of his discovery was that for once and for all, particular attributes could be definitively located in each section. Basically, the right takes a global view while the left deals with details.
However, you need to be very careful and above all, specific, if you are going to allocate abilities to one side or the other. We know that there are various areas in all the brain related to language, mostly on the left.
However, the right seems to process linguistic content. Appreciation of music is located on the right but people who are learning music or listening to specific aspects of music are using the left side. We also know that if part of the brain is damaged, the function in that area need not be permanently affected because other parts seem to take on the faculties needed. This still remains somewhat a mystery to scientists.
There also seems to be a transfer of information between the two hemispheres via the corpus callosum. So, it appears that when we are learning, both sides are operational and we should take this into account when school and university syllabuses are drawn up, which isn’t usually the case.
More on the brain in future articles. By the way, did you assign the above attributes to their respective hemispheres? Well, now you can check:
RIGHT: Connecting, Experimental, Imagination, Intuition, Possiblity, Rhythm, Synthesis, What if…, Tune, Pattern.
LEFT: Analysis, Controlled, Language, Logic, Objective, Sequence, Structure, Theoretical, Number, Organiser.
Happy English learning!!