The Left Brain Vs. The Right Brain: How Does This Impact Learning

1041 words - 5 pages

The human brain is a very complex organ which controls everything that makes us who we are. The function of the brain is broken down into two hemispheres, each responsible for different aspects of the thought process. The left and right hemispheres impact learning by directly controlling the process in which information is analyzed utilizing each hemispheres specific function.
The two hemispheres of the brain are the left and the right hemisphere. Each having it's own unique purpose and function. The two hemispheres are separated by a fold down the middle connected only by a thick nerve cable called the corpus callosum. The Left hemisphere is thought to be the logical side controlling speech, reading, writing, details, facts, maths and science and rational, literal, practical analysis. The right hemisphere is seen as controlling the intuitive, creative side of life, with spatial perception, symbols and images, face recognition, imagination, beliefs and fantasy. (Vered, 2013, www.brainskills.co.uk)
These two hemispheres have been thought to work independently if separated from one another. The idea that these two hemispheres of the brain can co-exist independently functioning as separate conscious minds is an interesting one. An idea that was explored in 1981 by Roger Sperry. He pioneered the study of what he called “split-brained” patients. A “split-brained” patient is a person who has had the two hemispheres of their brain disconnected to treat severe epilepsy. The left hand and eye supply data to the right hemisphere and the right hand and eye supply data to the left. In these “split-brained” patients tests were conducted to show that each half was isolated from the other. These same tests allowed the function of each half independent of the other to be shown. In a study carried out by Roger Sperry, the right hand and eye could name an object but couldn't explain what it was used for. When the left hand and eye were shown the same object the patient was able to name not only what the object was but also how to use it but was unable to name it. (Vered, 2013, www.brainskills.co.uk)
The view of the brain's purpose has changed over many years from the 1980's to now. In the 1980's it was thought that the left hemisphere was used for processing details. The right hemisphere was seen more for analyzing the “big picture”. The idea now is that the right hemisphere is better suited for pattern recognition. Allowing the brain to recognize and key in on important or interesting stimuli in the environment around. Once the brain has keyed in on a particular stimulus the left hemisphere assists by focusing on the details within these recognized patterns. A study conducted by Patricia Kuhl at the University of Washington in Seattle has shown that typically developing infants show an interest in human voices over other environmental sounds like a car horn or doorbell, and direct their attention to human voice when it conveys information that is...

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