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Brain Hemispheres Explanation

left and right brain hemisphere
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Brain hemispheres include two sides of the brain, left and right. Behaviour and personality will depend on what the dominant hemisphere is. Namely, every person has a dominant brain hemisphere, but this doesn’t mean that the non-dominant hemisphere doesn’t work at all. The fact is that all of us have the ability to use both sides equally as soon as we are born. Not much is necessary to convince us of that- it is enough to observe the early development of the muscular system and coordination of movement, especially crawling. Nevertheless, in many societies, children were forced to only use their right hand. Some of those methods were cruel in a way so that a child’s left hand was tied up or hit whenever they tried to write or use utensils with it. Nowadays, which hand a child uses more is not that important, but many still don’t know that using both hands encourages overall development. To understand that, knowledge about how brain hemispheres work is necessary.

Brain hemispheres functionality

In the second half of the 20th century, Roger W. Sperry carried out a study of brain hemispheres. He has discovered that these two brain sides were not the same. This changed our image of brain functions completely.
In Roger Sperry’s experiment, the students wore caps on their heads which were covered with electric wires. Using these electric wires, Roger Sperry measured different brain waves that were sent by brain while students were doing different mental activities. These activities included listening to music, talking, logical and creative thinking, reading, …
With this research, the scientist came to a conclusion that the brain divides the activities in two different groups. The left hemisphere controls one group, and the right hemisphere controls the second group of activities. While one hemisphere is active, the second rest.
The left brain hemisphere controls the movement of the right side of the body, while the right one controls the left side. Furthermore, the left hemisphere deals with logic, sequences, lines, numbers, and analysis. The right hemisphere deals with rhythms, colours, paintings, fantasy and the perception of integrity. 
functions of right and left hemispheres
This division of activities between the brain hemispheres also applies to emotions. The left hemisphere deals with positive emotions. On the other side, the right deals with negative emotions, such as depression and anxiety. Thus we can come to understand why many artists, who use the right hemisphere of the brain more than the left, are people of disturbed emotions.

Lobes of brain hemispheres

However, the division of the brain into the right and left hemisphere is too simple. In fact, this division is more complicated. First, these brain hemispheres are actually partners. They cooperate through the large bundle of neurons that connect them. This large bundle of neurons is called corpus callosum. For example: if you find a new friend, the left hemisphere will remember his name and the right will remember his appearance.
Also, each of both brain hemispheres has four lobes: parietal, temporal, frontal and occipital.  

The frontal lobes

The location of the frontal lobes is the front of each hemisphere. They are the center of intentional behaviour. They plan, decide and set goals. Also, they prevent us from having primitive behaviour. From example, when a child wants to hit their brother, the frontal lobe prevents him/her from doing so, reminding him/her that this behaviour is bad.

Temporal lobes

Temporal lobes are located directly behind the ears. That’s why it may not be surprising that they are responsible for our hearing. The left temporal brain allows us to understand speech. The right temporal brain allows us to understand the music, sound of the doorbell and other non-verbal sounds.

Parietal lobes

Parietal lobes are located at the top of the head. The left parietal lobes receive and process information coming from the right side of the body. The right parietal lobes receive and process information coming from the left side of the body. They also help us to understand what we are touching. For example, they help us to know whether we are touching a lemon or an apple, even when we don’t see the fruit.

Occipital lobes

Occipital lobes are behind the parietal and temporal lobes. They allow us to understand what we see. The left occipital lobe controls the right field of vision, while the right occipital lobe controls the left field of vision.4 brain lobes

What would happen if each brain hemisphere worked without the other?

When it was discovered that every brain hemisphere had its own tasks, Roger Sperry and his associate Michael Gazzaniga began to research what a single hemisphere would do without the other. They studied patients whose corpus callosum was cut to reduce epileptic seizure attacks. These patients behaved quite well. They moved normally, talked as before and their IQ was the same. However, when the information was presented only to their visual field, they behaved as they had two separate minds.

Can we improve brain hemisphere functionality?

The previously described research by Roger Sperry and Michael Gazzaniga has proved that both hemispheres well-developed functions and mutual partnership are important for optimal brain activity. Fortunately, our brain has plasticity. Brain plasticity means that the brain is flexible and adaptable. It can be able to redirect information or functions of data processing from one to the other brain centre and/or nerve system. This is is not significant for promoting a person’s intellectual, linguistic, sensory and motor skills only, but also in the event of illness, injury or disorder. Numerous examples prove that to us.
The plasticity of brain hemispheres can be noticed in examples of people without one hand. Many people who lose a dominant hand, after only approximately three months, can do all the tasks of the dominant hand using the non dominant hand. This is especially noticeable in the person’s handwriting that can very quickly become similar. Also, legs and feet can also take many tasks that hands have had in just a few months of training in the event of a loss of both hands. This includes tasks such as drawing or painting. It is even more amazing that people who have lost both arms and legs create the ability to write with their mouth. 

Many the great geniuses have concluded that if we want to develop our brain potentials to the maximum, we must use both hemispheres. The geniuses who used both hemispheres equally were Albert EinsteinBenjamin Franklin, Nikola Tesla, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, etc. It’s written that Michelangelo changed the hand when he was tired from creating sculptures so that hand could rest while the other worked. Leonardo Da Vinci said that if we want to develop the brain and cognition, we must study the art of science and the science of art. quote about imagination
Also, many athletes prove significant in using both hemispheres. Famous athletes who use both sides of the body equally are Kobe Bryant, Pete Rose, Greg Harris, Carlos Boozer, etc. The most famous baseball players were able to point the ball to any part of the field. Hank Aaron and Stan Musial would change the field position or hand to throw the ball to confuse the players. Famous boxer Muhammad Ali was capable of hitting at high speed with either one or the other hand as well as quickly switching body weight from one side to the other. That was confusing for his opponents because they never knew from which side they could get a hit. 
Therefore, modern training involves insisting on exercising less-used body parts and sides in order to make balance with the dominant side. This is good for muscle and body balance and thus stimulates physical abilities at the same time. But, above all, we can conclude that using both sides of the body equally isn’t good only for being good in sports, but for overall development.

How to improve the functions of brain hemispheres?

In the end, I present to you some of the ways to improve the functions of brain hemispheres. These ways we should use in learning children from their earliest age. Children’s brain is more plasticity than adult’s but an adult can and should improve it’s functionality as well.
  • Participate in various activities. Let’s say, participate in art activities but learn mathematics as well.
  • Provide environments that stimulate the activity of both brain hemispheres. For example, make with child a masquerade masks in which both of you will participate … Draw a mask, think about details, calculate costs, plan to purchase, …
  • Use both hands in some simple actions such as using a fork and knife or drawing.
  • Often play ball by using the non dominant hand. You can play ball in such a way with your kid.
  • Wash your teeth or brush your hair with a non dominant hand and promote the child to do the same.
  • Teach juggle and encourage the child to teach the same. Juggling represents a great balancing ability.
  • Play equilibrium sports such as dancing, boating, wrestling, running, swimming, etc. Encourage the child to play these sports as well.
  • Play the piano or some other musical instrument. Playing musical instruments stimulate the balance between the two hemispheres, actually promote functions of both brain hemispheres.improve brain functionalities by playing music

P.S.

Do you like this article? Do you find it as useful for you? If you want to find more about brain functionality, I recommend the books in the presentation below. If you know some book more about this subject, please, share its name with us in comments. 

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