Have you done tests to determine which side of your brain is the most dominant? Do you tend towards the more creative right or the more analytical left hemisphere? How does this affect what you think you can and you can't do?
The left brain right brain theory has had a lot of attention from creativity teachers and enthusiasts. There are plenty of tests available to help you work out which side of your brain is the most dominant and how you can manage that dominance to pursue your goals. However, further research has shown that the theory is not sound. With the latest medical imaging, we have learnt that the human brain is much more complex than anticipated. The left brain right brain theory is just that, a theory and an outdated one.
If you are a keen follower of the left right theory, this may sound a little disappointing, or even wrong. However, it is actually very good news. It means you are not locked into thinking only one way. If you are analytical, you can still work towards being more creative and your biology won't stand in your way! If you are a less structured, creative person, you can also hone your analytical skills more. How we are wired to think depends much more on the areas of ourselves we place the value and focus on. If you tell yourself you cannot do something, you will prove yourself right! We all have skills we are good at and others we struggle with, but your biology isn't the final determinant of what you can achieve. Your self perception can be far more dominant than your grey matter. Change your 'cannot' thinking to 'can work at it' and you may be surprised at what you can do...
Here is a little more information on why the left brain right brain theory has been disproved. People with brain injuries from accidents, or who have had surgery to split their brain into two separate hemispheres, have been found to be able to regain functions they should not have recovered if the theory is correct. Functions such as speech and writing can be controlled from both sides of the brain. It isn't necessarily just a matter of damaged brains relearning skills in another part either. With MRI scanning, researchers have now shown that musicians brains light up in multiple places when they play. Different parts of the brain are stimulated to pull together the whole process of playing and appreciating music. If only one side dominated, then a musician's right hemisphere would be the only side that lit up.
The physiology of how the brain processes information is extremely complex and by no means, completely understood. Everyone's brain makes it's own connections as they grow and learn. There are no set pathways which are the same for everyone. At one stage scientists thought that the brain stopped making connections at a certain age, therefore, if you had an illness or injury that damaged your memory or a body function, you couldn't recover. Now they know it is not true. Our brain is plastic, adaptable and makes new connections right throughout life. The brain is like a muscle which needs exercising. Basic mental exercises, such as doing a crossword puzzle daily, help keep us sharp. Memory improves, our enjoyment of life is greater and there is even evidence that diseases such as dementia can be delayed a little by keeping mentally active.
The great value the left brain right brain theory does have, is it makes us aware of using all our capability. It is easy to become locked into habit and not explore areas we have taught ourselves to believe we are incapable of. So challenge your perception of what you can and can't do! Never let the word 'impossible' get in the way.
This article is Copyright Cate Russell-Cole 2012. It may only be reproduced, with my permission, for non commercial purposes only. My name and Copyright must remain intact. For permission, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org