Right Brain: The Synthesizer According to Dr. Sperry’s findings, the right brain fosters creativity, intuition, and imagination. It handles messages that deal with shape, size, and patterns.
The right brain is also known as the holistic side. Right-brain people sort out information simultaneously, looking at the whole picture or the general concept first before focusing on specific details.
A right-brain child faced with a problem can come up with the proper solution based on gut feeling without any explanation as to how he arrived at it.
Left Brain: The Logic Master The left side of the brain is considered the “thinking” or logical side. Left-brain people are believed to be more analytic. They process information sequentially, zeroing in on the details and absorbing each step before putting these details together to understand the whole picture.
A left-brain child would use the Scientific Method to solve a problem: he would first collect data and information, write the data down, and then proceed to solve the problem.
The left hemisphere is also the language center of the brain, sifting and sorting language information and processing language symbols as they are taken in by the senses. According to child development specialist Feny Delos Angeles-Bautista, language learning, hearing, and memory entail the use of the temporal lobes, which are located on both sides of the brain.
Crossing Left to Right Dr. Leticia P. Ho, clinical psychologist and neuro-therapist, explains that our brain is wired crosswise when it comes to movement and sensation. The right hemisphere collects and receives information from the left side of our body, while the left hemisphere collects and receives information from the right.
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Both hemispheres receive the same messages; no brain activity relies on just one side. One hemisphere may take the lead in some activities, but it never works alone.
A child’s brain development begins as early as his days in the womb, and this “bridge” is said to become stronger when the child is born. In infancy, messages are sent equally to the two halves of the brain. If provided with enough stimulation during the first two years, each half begins to specialize and the link between the two is strengthened.
Creating a Balance Majority of schools tend to nurture left-brain kids more, as academic subjects focus on logical thinking, analysis, and accuracy. Thus, for kids to be more “whole-brained,” schools should provide as much emphasis on the arts as they do on logic and scientific thinking. Learning activities that involve patterns, metaphors, analogies, role-playing, visual arts, and movement should be incorporated into reading, calculation, and scientific activities.
Remember, too, that the two hemispheres are not in competition with each other. No side is better or worse. Dr. Sperry’s theory simply posits two different modes of thinking and then presents ways to further enhance brain development using both modes.