Sunday, 23 October 2016

The Left Brain and the Right Brain

Almost 80% of the people in the world have a more developed left-brain.  Whis is this so? Professor Chen Lung-an, director of the Creative Thinking Educational Center at the Taipei Municipal Teacher’s College, says that this is related to the superiority of the left-brain in handling language and logical thinking.

Chen cites the game of bridge as an example.  He says that when you are about to play a card in bridge your right brain goes running off in a thousand directions at once, thinking laterally.  This sort of thinking is not appropriate to this situation and the left-brain takes over, assembling a logical train of thought.  It sorts through the cards available, considers which has the greater change of winning the trick, what will happen if one’s partner plays such and such a card and what will happen if he does not, slowly tracing through the many possibilities to come up with a play.

Similarly, in most of our thinking and learning in daily life, the left brain’s spend and efficiency mean that the right brain often has no chance to do anything.

Other factors are also detrimental to right brain development.  There are our years of utilitarian education, with its emphasis on mathematics, language, logic and analysis and its tendency to ignore the arts, music and creativity.  There are parental pressures to become doctors and lawyers and scientists rather than poets and artists.  And there is the world itself, which requires us to do more left-brain thinking than right.  Under these circumstances, our left-brains become more and more developed while our right brains atrophy, metaphorically speaking, from under-use.

After Sperry discovered the right brain’s capabilities, a number of Taiwanese in numerous different fields began to take note.  For example, Chen Lung, a scholar whose academic research is in “creative thinking,” has proposed a methodology for developing children’s creativity.  Chen stresses the utilization of imagination and lateral thinking, stating that this is a form of right-brain exercise.  Meanwhile, some people in the commercial sphere advocate using breathing and meditation to change your moods or the direction of your thinking.  Even cram schools have gotten into the act, taking advantage of the right brain’s affinity for images by promoting the concept of “mind maps”-taking notes in a pictorial of diagrammatic format rather than the traditional line upon line of text.

(image from the web)

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