Alas, I must inform you that it was I who erred and pass on myth-buster revelation to others so I can spoil their day just in case they have been as much out of touch with cognitive psychology as I have been.
The mass of human brain [approximately 3 pounds] is divided into two hemispheres – left and right – by the medial longitudinal fissure and connected by the corpus callosum, composed of bundles of nerve fibers, creating an information highway for neural messages. The hemispheres appear to be similar in size, but the difference in their composition of neuronal networks allows for specialized function that is different in each hemisphere.[skyword.com/left-brain-right-brain-myth]
The brain contains about 100 billion neurons and 100 trillion connections. Your brain is command central of all you think, feel, and do.
Certain cognitive functions are dominated by one side or the other. Scientists continue to explore why and how these neural functions are lateralized.
Image Source: wikipedia.org/wiki/Lateralization_of_brain
The popular theory that each person’s brain had a dominant side, was taught in school, apparently, when I was young – which has to be at least a hundred and fifty years ago. I learned that a person was either right-brained or left-brained. Given the popularity of the idea of "right-brained" and "left-brained" thinkers, it might surprise you learn that this idea is just one of many myths about the brain. [No mention of the lame-brained which I know to be a fact, although an unscientific one].
This concept of left-brained and right-brained has been around for a while. Some writers claim is it more than 200 years old; others that it originated with the work of Roger W. Sperry, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in1981. [I doubt he was 200 years old at the time].
No doubt the individual preference of humans to use the right hand or, among some to use the left, was noticed early in human development. This may have contributed to the idea it was bad to be left handed and became associated with other values.
The left-brain/right-brain myth grew into the common belief that your dominant personality traits are related to which side of your brain has more control. Supposedly, left-brained people are more logical, while right-brained people are more creative.
The right and left hemispheres of the brain control different functions, but this fact doesn’t relate to personality.
“Both creative and analytical thought activate both hemispheres equally. Some specific discrete tasks are lateralized, but during complex cognitive processes both hemispheres are involved and communicate. Lefties and righties alike use both hemispheres of their brains equally.” [biomedicalodyssey.blogs.hopkinsmedicine.org/]
Analytical and creative functions, emotional and reasonable; these co-exist in all of us, which is the reason humans exhibit a wide range of human behavior. You receive input from both sides of the brain no matter what you are doing.
The right cerebral hemisphere receives sensory input from and directs movement on the left side of the body, while the left side takes input and controls corresponding functions for the right side. This is most observable in handedness. Most of us [about ninety percent] are right-handed and have better control over movements with the right hand. Then rest [ten percent] have more control over the left hand or are ambidextrous. [dana.org/article/right-brain-left]
This kind of handedness is not exclusive to humans. Sixty-five percent of chimpanzees use the right hand for demanding tasks, for example, and ninety percent of parrots pick up objects with the left foot. [That’s something else you really needed to know, right?]
Differences in the left and right brain hemisphere function exist in:
Emotions are expressed and recognized by the right-brain function in humans and also non-human primates.
Spoken language is more left-brain active than the right. In most people, the two main language areas, known as Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area, are found in the left hemisphere.
Visually based languages are also the domain of the left brain. People who are deaf show speech-like brain activity when watching sign language.
Left-handed people use their right-brain for manual tasks. Right-handed people use the left hand for manual tasks. Handedness is inbuilt, and it can even be detected while the baby is in the womb.
The two brain hemispheres also differ in what they pay attention to. The left side of the brain is more involved with attention to the internal world. The right side is more interested in attending to the external world.
Studies have shown no differences between males and females in terms of brain lateralization.
● The theory that a person is either left-brained or right-brained is a myth not supported by scientific research.
● Some people may find the theory does align with their aptitudes. However, they should not rely on it as a scientifically accurate way to understand the brain or the personality.
● Brain activity is not symmetrical, and it does vary from person to person.
● There are really cool graphics to depict right- and left-brains. [Does that make me right-brained?]