Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Left vs Right

I am left-handed, so it would make since if I favored the left side of my brain because immediately I get defensive if someone says something bad about LEFTs. I don't know why. I am also always looking for discrimination against left-handed people. Like the pen that is sitting at my desk - I can't write with it. Why? Because I'm left-handed and when you write with your left hand it automatically starts twisting the pen and then the actual part that it writes with disappears. It's discrimination.

But that's not the point of this post.

Today at lunch we had an interesting discussion on my brain. See... I've always liked to think of myself as a left-brained person, but that's before I understood what each side of the brain actually does. Turns out, it's the RIGHT side of my brain that I favor (which makes me very sad to say). Apparently - and I know I've learned this in a psychology class, so the information isn't really new to me, I just never thought about it before - the LEFT side of the brain is for things like reason and logic and math.

In fact, Meghan was painting the distinct picture of my right-brain attacking my left-brain with its long, sucker-lined tentacles every time my left-brain tried to suggest something. 

Pause.

Do you see the problem? I don't do things reasonably or logically or mathematically. I never really have that I know of. I have always preferred things that were abstract and creative. I can't figure out for the life of me why my sister HATES doing creative projects at school. A PowerPoint with a required CREATIVE slide - yes, please! A dictation exactly how to do things formulaicly? NO THANK YOU. Why do people put things in linear patterns? Why do people analyze situations to gosh dang much? How did you know it took me exactly 23 minutes to get here, instead of the 15 I said it would take? I don't get it.

Of course, this has created a lot of problems in my life. Especially recently. I blame the fact that the left side of my brain hates me to my money problems, graduation problems and inability to tell time and therefore be one time. My ability to be conned. My lack of general direction. My friends seem to think that if I would strive to develop the left side of my brain that I would be able to be more successful in my life. I wonder if it is permanently damaged?

The problem with developing the left side of your brain does not sound like a good time, at all.
To stimulate and strengthen the thinking processes of your "left brain," talk about things as logically as you can. Picking apart an argument or something you read, and analyzing it can exercise this part of the brain too.
This article did find some more enjoyable activities...but not many.

To stimulate the left side of the brain, you could solve a crossword puzzle or figure out a difficult mathematical equation. Learning a new language also stimulates the left side of the brain, as does figuring out complicated questions dealing with time or algebra. You might also want to study ethics, and analyse various situations and decide whether an action is good or bad. Other activities include learning new vocabulary words, mapping out a schedule to follow when working on a project, organizing day trips or vacations, and attending lectures on a variety of subjects.
I am guessing that the reason I did so poorly in learning Latin, or picking up ANY Spanish - despite the fact that I worked with Mexicans and lived with four fluent-Spanish speakers - is attributed to the fact that I am not a left-brained individual. I do like word games though... I love learning new vocabulary. But I don't think that really helps with my problems. Writing and speaking are definitely not a weak area in my life.

Anyway, I took a quick little quiz:

We do know that the left side of the brain is the seat of language and processes in a logical and sequential order. The right side is more visual and processes intuitively, holistically, and randomly.

You responded as a right brained person to 16 questions, and you responded as a left brained person to 3 questions. According to the Hemispheric Dominance test, you use your right brain the most. The summary briefly describes your dominance type.

Some of the traits associated with the right side of the brain are listed in the table. Not all of the traits will apply to you. Remember, we use both side of our brain, but your right sides gets the most exercise.


Type of Cognitive Processing
     
Brief Description
Holistic   Processing information from whole to part; sees the big picture first, not the details.
Random   Processing information without priority, jumps form one task to another.
Concrete   Processes things that can be seen , or touched - real objects.
Intuitive   Processes information based on whether or not it feels right know answer but not sure how it was derived.
Nonverbal   Processes thought as illustrations.
Fantasy-Oriented   Processes information with creativity; less focuses on rules and regulations
 
It is all beginning to make sense. Unfortuanately, everything that I have going on in my life right now only strengthens my right brain: practicing my flute, reading fluffy books, writing my own books....I don't know where moving falls into play but it's safe to say that I haven't done anything in regards to that, yet. And well, fine - I'll admit it - stats has pretty much fallen off the radar. I suppose I should get on that. That would be a definite left brained activity.

"Kill me!" My poor little right-brain is screaming as I even begin to process this.

 

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