Left Brain Right brain myth

Shifting Between the Two Realities

The “Two Brains” Myth

The old belief is that the left hemisphere is responsible for logical reasoning, numbers, math, words, symbols… and the right hemisphere is associated with imagination, gestalt, rhythm, three dimensional, daydreaming, colors and so on… Although this looks great and is easy to understand, this is a myth; the brain doesn’t work like that.

I didn’t say this just to disprove the common belief. On the contrary, I wanted to point out that although you can not say that the left cortex hemisphere is only for linear stuff while the right cortex is solo for imagination, it’s actually really useful and neat to separate brain’s abilities on logical (abstract) and imaginational.

Two realities: Logic and Imagination

Not so while ago, I ran into a book called, “Speed Reading with the Right Brain,” by David Butler. It this book about speed reading, he focuses on activating and using the right hemisphere (imaginative one) while reading and increasing the ability to comprehend the text few times faster than normal. This idea is more than just for reading! If you think about it, you can use both skills (or if you like both brains) to understand and perceive the world!

My keyboard has numbers and letters that are abstract, but in order for me to make a sentence that is meaningful, I need to combine the buttons into a group (meaningful words, gestalt), connect them with spaces (syntax, logic) and punctuate (better understanding, rhythm and style)…

Let’s talk another example; imagine if you’re listening to (or reading) a lecture on neuroanatomy and the speech (text) goes like this:

“The brainstem can be divided into three regions: the medulla, rostral to and continuous with the spinal cord; the pons, rostral to the medulla; and the midbrain, rostral to the pons and continuous with the diencephalon.”

– “Essential Neuroscience,” by Allan Siegel and Hreday N. Sapru

I formated the words into: imaginable (bolded) and abstract (italic and underlined):

“The brainstem can be divided into three regions: the medulla, rostral to and continuous with the spinal cord; the pons, rostral to the medulla; and the midbrainrostral to the pons and continuous with the diencephalon.”

So, you connect images with logic and you get the ful understanding of the concept with maximal focus:

Connect the image and logic

So the way I process this paragraph is: I) there are three parts of the brainstem and I imagine the brainstem-like structure (for example made of clay) and split it into three parts; II) first part continues onto the spinal cord III)rostrally, so I imagine medulla on top of the spinal cord; IV) the second part comes on top of the previous part V) rostrally, so I connect the medulla with the pons on the top, in my head; and I do the same with VI) the midbrain

Conclusion

Human’s duality has always been there: good vs bad, fight or flight, life or death, exciting or boring…maybe due to the brain’s duality between the abstract world of logic, numbers, words… and the more imaginational words of colors, daydreaming, rhythm, multi dimensions…

Understanding this nature of the brain can help you develop some impressive skills like better focus, careful listening, faster reading, better recall of memories, and even increase your flexibility and creativity due to constant shifting between the worlds!

Finally, I need to finish this article with the advice from Leo da Vinci:

Study the art of science and the science of art!


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