This time I am going to talk about...
The Human Brain. It is in my opinion, the definitive feature that sets humanity apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. Everything from bikes and cars, airplanes and space shuttles, radio, television and the Internet, these can all be traced back to our intellect. I have been studying it in psychology of late and find it particularly fascinating to find out about the functions of the brains 4 lobes, their respective cortexes and the nervous system. At the beginning of this school year, I looked at sleep and other states of consciousness. Now I'm studying the intriguing topic of memory.
Through studying psychology, I have learnt much about how my brain, the organic computer inside my head, operates. Now I'd like to help you to hopefully find out something about yourself. As you may or may not be aware, certain abilities we possess are operated from respective areas of our brains. The right hemisphere of the brain bares similar characteristics such as art appreciation and processing things as a whole, whilst the left hemisphere is more about analytical functions including mathematics, logic and interpreting data. One notable service that the left hemisphere of your brain is providing you with at this very moment, is the ability to read this blog post. Cool right?
The diagram below will help you gain a clearer understanding of what both hemispheres of the brain are responsible for.
When you are interpreting the information from the diagram above, you are using your left cerebral hemisphere. This makes sense because the information is in written form. Written language must be sequentially processed for an adequate comprehension of the information to be gained. Above we have a written example of hemispheric specialisation. Below is an illustrated example of the same thing. The information is far more visually stimulating, hence it will most likely be processed in the right cerebral hemisphere of your brain.
Everyone on Earth utilises both cerebral hemispheres of the brain to various degrees depending on the individual. However, some people utilise one side more than others. This is known as hemispheric specialisation or hemispheric dominance. Those who are dominant in their left hemisphere are generally good at school. They may be good at mathematics, science and/or language, all of which require the analytical thought processing of the left cerebral hemisphere. People who are dominant in their right cerebral hemisphere are often good at art, drama, music and more, all of which require the holistic thought processing of the right cerebral hemisphere. The list of characteristics really goes on and on for both cerebral hemispheres. Some people are strong in both hemispheres. This is a good balance to have. Why not have the best of both after all?
In my psychology class, I was given an activity to determine which side of my brain I use the most. I found the results to be most interesting, even though they reflected what I already knew. I copied the statements out below so that it might give you an idea of what hemisphere you are more dominant in.
HEMISPHERIC DOMINANCE ACTIVITY
This is a task designed to enable you the figure out your brain hemispheric dominance. Get a blank sheet of lined paper. Every time you read a description or characteristic that applies to you, wright it down on the blank sheet of paper. There is no certain number of characteristics you must choose. Characteristics of the left hemisphere and in red, whilst characteristics of the right hemisphere are in blue. Once you have written down every characteristic from this list that applies to you, wright wether it was a L or R besides the characteristic. Count up the number of L's and R's. Whichever number is higher represents your dominance. If the numbers are close, that means you use both sides of your brain fairly equally.
1. I always wear a watch
2. I keep a journal
3. I believe there is a right and wrong way to do everything
4. I hate following directions
5. The expression "Glass half empty" makes no sense to me
6. I find that sticking to a schedule is boring
7. I'd rather draw someone a map then tell them how to get somewhere
8. If I lost something, I'd try to remember where I saw it last
9. If I don't know which way to turn, I let my emotions guide me
10. I'm pretty good at math
11. If I had to assemble something, I'd read the directions first
12. I'm always late when getting to places
13. Some people think I'm psychic
14. Setting goals for myself helps keep me from slacking off
15. When somebody asks me a question, I turn my head to the left
16. If I have a tough decision to make, I wright down the pros and the cons
17. I'd make a good detective
18. I am musically inclined
19. If I have a problem, I try to work it out by relating it to one I've had in the past
20. When I talk, I gesture a lot
21. If someone asks me a question, I turn my head to the right
22. I believe there are two sides to every story
23. I can tell if someone is guilty just by looking at them
24. I keep a to do list
25. I feel comfortable expressing myself with words
26. Before I take a stand on an issue, I get all the facts
27. I've considered becoming a poet, a politician, an architect, or a dancer
28. I lose track of time easily
29. If I forgot someone's name, I'd go through the alphabet until I remembered it
30. I like to draw
31. When I'm confused, I usually go with my gut instinct
32. I have considered becoming a lawyer, journalist, or doctor
11 of these characteristics applied to me. Out of that 11, 7 were of the right cerebral hemisphere and 5 were of the left. I believe the reason for this is because my right hemisphere is naturally more dominant. However, through years of extra training in English and Maths ( maths to a much lesser extent), the strength of my left hemisphere has improved. I feel that I am now closer to a balance nowadays.
Both hemispheres of the brain are important. As a species, we need artists such as dancers, painters, film makers and musicians, just as much as we need mathematicians, computer programmers, linguists and scientists. I encourage everyone to do reflective research into yourself learn about you own nature. Once you gain an understanding of what your nature is, nurture it! Nurture your nature.
I'd love to write more about what I've learnt in psychology, but I've got a lot to do at the moment. I need to write an ERA (Empirical Research Assessment) about the effects the method of chunking has on memory recall. Please do tell me what your learnt or even didn't learn from doing this activity in the comment section. I'd love to know!
Thank you for reading this post.