Left Brain vs. Right Brain: Understanding the Basic Differences
By Andrew Loh
The debate on right brain and left-brain has been raging for many years
now. Did you ever hear people speaking on this issue? Some experts on brain development say that some people tend to
be strong in their right brain, while others are endowed with left-brain skills. Let
us not consider this issue now. What exactly is right vs. left-brain
theory and why is it so important between growing children? What can you do to
enhance left and right brain activities in equal measures?
In simple words, the basic theory of left or right brain predominance states that each
side of the brain manages different kinds of thinking. In addition,
people are known to choose one kind of thinking over the other type.
Broadly speaking, a person who is perceived to be left brain endowed, is
thought be more logical and objective, when compared to a right brain
endowed person, who is assumed to be more thoughtful and subjective.
Psychologists suggest several theories for this differing
pre-dominance. Some of them believe that the theory derives from another
hypothesis called “lateralization of brain functions”. Now, the big
question is also thought provoking – do both sides control specific
functionalities? A Nobel Prize winning scientist named, Roger W. Sperry
proposed the right brain-left brain theory in the year 1981.
An amazing thing called brain!
Both right and left side brain sectors are unique in their functions. Both are
important and critical for normal living of a human. Both sides process
information in different ways. How both sides function is a function of
genetics. Most of us tend to possess a stronger side of the brain. It
could be either right or left side of the brain. People process
information by using the dominant side of the brain. Whatever the case,
a person is said to be normal, when he or she possesses a brain that
functions evenly in both sides of the brain. Optimum brain performance is
possible, when you strengthen the weaker side of the brain. Information
processing styles between two sides of the brain are different as well.
Here are some of the differences in learning styles
between two hemispheres of the brain:
Linear and holistic processing of information
The left side of your brain can process information bits in a linear or lateral manner. In other
words, the information is processed from tiny parts and to whole of it.
When a person has left centric brain, it collects and collates tiny bits
of information, aligns them in a linear manner and organizes all the
bits into a logical sequence. On the contrary, the right brain does not
accept information in bits and pieces. It always treats the information
as a whole and it starts processing from top to bottom. It watches and
treats the scene as a whole and it does not look at the finer details that hide inside
the picture. If you are endowed with a right brain, you may not have the
ability to summarize different bits of information into one. To
do it, you must look at the set of information from all angles.
Sequential and random processing of information
Left brainers are linear processors of data. To perform it, they
should use a sequential process. Persons, who are string in scheduling
and planning, have a strong left sided brain. Most of them are very
strong in English spelling and basic math. If you have a strong left
sided brain, you are probably very strong in creating lists and working
on those lists. On the other hand, the right-brained people process
given information in a random fashion. In other words, they are very
poor in scheduling and indexing. Following directions and spelling are also
quite difficult for them.
Symbolic and concrete processing of data
The left-brain endowed people are strong in understanding and processing
symbols. Processing numbers, mathematical models and notation are
easy for these people. They have the giftedness to memorize words and
formulae, in a much easier fashion than the right-brained people. However, right
brain endowed people demand things that are in concrete shape. They want
to experience things. They also want to see, perceive, touch and feel
the real objects. They are more proficient in breaking down things and
Logical and intuitive processing of data
Left brained people use logical ability to solve problems. They
combine different pieces of information and use a logical sense to join
them. Right-brained people, on the other hand, use a sense of intuition
to solve problems. They may not know how to solve a problem, but they
usually get the right answer by using the sense of intuition. They may
have the gut feeling to choose the right type of solutions for a given
Verbal and nonverbal processing of data
Verbal thinking is common among people, who have a strong left-brain. They can
easily express themselves in words and sentences. On the other hand,
right brain strong people find using words in a day-to-day conversation very difficult. Just watch
the left brained people giving directions to people. The are very good
at it. Right brain people will need backing up of data and information in a visual way. They may
also need data and information in image forms.
These are some of the major differences between left and right brains.
Left-brain strategies and methods are necessary for a classroom, while
right brain power is necessary for acquiring skills other than
scholastic ones. Continue to read
Left Brain vs. Right Brain: Activities to boost both sides of the brain