Science

Everything you wanted to know about being left and right brained

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Have you ever heard someone say they were either a right-brain or left-brain kind of person? Whether it’s in general conversation, in television shows, movies, books or articles, you’ve probably heard the phrase before. But what does this mean? What does it mean to be right-brained? And what’s the difference if you’re left-brained? Well, whether you think you’re right or left-brained, here’s everything you might want to know.

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What is the theory?

The theory goes that each side of your brain is designed to control different aspects of your being and thinking. Our brain is made up of two hemispheres – and both of these perform different roles. They then communicate with each other via the corpus callosum and perform your daily functions. But many people tend to associate themselves with one side of their brain, instead of both.

The Right Brain

The right-hand side of your brain is often associated with creativity. This is because the right side of your brain deals with things like recognizing faces, intuition, images, color, music and reading and expressing emotions. The right hemisphere of your brain controls the left-hand side of your body, leading some people to believe right-brained people are left-handed.

The Left Brain

The left-hand side of your brain is often associated with logic and reason. It’s said that the left side of your brain is more adept at dealing with critical thinking, reasoning, numbers, language and logic. The left hemisphere of your brain controls the right-hand side of your body, so therefore those same people think that right-handed people have a dominant left brain.

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The Result

Because these associations are common knowledge, many people associate themselves with one side of their brain. For example, if one person is an artist but struggles to crunch numbers, they would probably say that they are right brained. However, if another person works as a lawyer, but can’t find rhythm in music, they would say that they are left-brained.

The Myth

Although this idea is a common perception – it is actually just a myth. It is true that each hemisphere of your brain is designed for different functions. However, humans don’t tend to have a dominant side over the other. Instead, the two sides actually work together extremely well. These differences in skills and talent are caused by the connection between the two hemispheres, through the corpus callosum.

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Why is the idea so popular?

Although it is an interesting theory and could explain differences in human nature, it has been scientifically disproven. Nevertheless, the idea still persists within general knowledge, because the outdated theory has become engrained in popular culture. Many books, articles, and even quizzes will ask you to determine which side of your brain you use more by giving you questions and answers based on your logical reasoning and creativity. The whole idea has become over-generalized – and seems hard to quash. Although we may have dominant skills, this does not mean we have a dominant brain hemisphere.

About the author

Rebecca Walton

Rebecca has always been fascinated with the business and tech world, having grown up with parents in the industry. She has a real passion for science – particularly space and the unknown realms that surround the planet! Rebecca has been writing for different publications for nearly 6 years and is now an editor at Pangaea Express.