Published: 10/11/2014 - Updated: 01/07/2018
Author: MSc. Miriam Reyes
The brain is an extraordinary processor that fulfills fundamental life functions in human beings. Some of the brain’s most important tasks are to process information, control and coordinate behavior, movement and homeostatic body functions (like the heartbeat, blood pressure, hormones, fluid balances, and body temperature). It is also responsible for creativity, memory, learning, emotions, sensations, etc.
The brain is divided into two hemispheres: the left and the right. These two hemispheres make up the largest part of the enchephalon. The hemispheres are formed by wrinkles, cerebral arteries, and a calloused body that is made up by a conglomeration of white nerve fibers that connect both hemispheres and transfer information from one side to another.
The white substance (formed by nerve fibers) is located under the cortex and is made up by myelinated axons, whose function is to connect and transmit nerve impulses, to intercommunicate between the two hemispheres, and to transmit brain impulses to the spine.
The two brain hemispheres
The two brain hemispheres are complimentary, and they have minor functional differences between the right and left hemisphere. It hasn’t been easy to discern the differences between the two. It is known that the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body, and the left side of the brain controls nearly the entire right side of the body. Each of the hemispheres specializes in certain functions, and this specialization is a privilege of being human. This may be because language and logic need more orderly and sophisticated thought processes.
The right side of the brain
The right hemisphere governs and controls as many specialized functions as the left, but what distinguishes them is the way in which information is produced and processed.
The right side of the brain does not use conventional mechanisms or reasoning for analyzing thoughts the way that the left side does. It is an integrative brain and is the center of non-verbal visual-spacial functions. It specializes in feelings and sensations, in spacial abilities as well as visual and sound abilities, but not those related to language.
This side of the brain receives information and comes up with situations and through strategies in a complete manner, it integrates several types of information (sounds, images, smells, sensations) and transmits them as one complete whole. This hemisphere organizes information by adjusting to the type of immediate response required in visual and spacial organization processes. This right side of the brain is considered to be the receptor and identifier of spacial orientation, and is responsible for the way we perceive the world in regards to color, shape and place.
In summary, the right hemisphere specializes in non-verbal functions. We know that we are using the right brain faculties when:
- We situate and orient ourselves in streets, places, etc.
- We know where we are by recognizing houses, objects, places (stores, parks, etc.), architecture, appearances, etc., of places.
- We recognize someone’s face (remembering names comes from the left hemisphere).
- We feel, perceive, intuit, etc.
- When we imagine.
- We perceive symbols and images.
- When we place ourselves in the present and/or the future.
- When we fantasize
- When we visualize.
- When we take risks.
Using the right hemisphere of the brain
People that have a dominant right hemisphere process information with what is known as “visual simultaneity”. In this manner, several diagrams are processed simultaneously.
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You could use the example of a container holding all sorts of tiny balls, each one being the same color of blue, except for one purple one. Someone who uses the left side of the brain more, would need to look at each and every ball to find the different one. This method of resolution is called “Linear sequential”. On the other hand, the individual that uses the right side of the brain more would be able to simply look at the entire group of balls to find the different one.
People that use the right side of their brain more also have an excellent ability to do multiple things at the same time. They are more creative, spontaneous, and you could say, they’re more intuitive.
If you want to develop the right side of your brain (the left side of your body) you could start by doing more creative tasks, like imagining a story (without writing it, just imagine it), or go for a walk and pay attention to architecture, house facades, and objects that you find. Or, go for a walk to far away places and unknown areas where you live and try to orient yourself without a map. Also, try to do the things you always do in a more unconventional way, be more spontaneous, and dare to do things you don’t do every day.
Revised by: Dra. Loredana Lunadei on 01/07/2018
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