Saturday, April 4, 2015
Left Right and Different
The Divided Brain
We used to believe the two parts of the brain work in harmony, but according to London psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist, there’s a definite shift in our modern culture which favors left-brain dominance—and it’s something we ought to watch out for and correct. In The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World (Yale University Press, 2009), McGilchrist discusses the hemispheres and their different “personalities,” and then shows a sweeping dissertation on the history of Western civilization as seen from the context of the divided brain. -
Tales from Both Sides of the Brain
GAZZANIGA: ... And together, that's where the whole popularized notion of "left brain, right brain" came out of. And it was a little over-sold. And as we moved on through the study of these patients and others for fifty years, we learned, it's not quite that simple.
FLATO: Yeah, because we, everyone, walks around saying, I'm a left hand, a right-brained person. That's too right.
GAZZANIGA: It's fun, cheap. What's the new word now? Edutainment. It's a little something and a lot of fun.
FLATO: Michael, that word's thirty-years-old.
I have not read either of the books linked above but enjoyed listening and reading the linked interviews. I especially found Dr. Gazzaniga reports on cases of the right hemisphere being able to talk after many years of silence interesting. The awareness of my left sublingual musculature as a different structure from my right sublingual musculature did not exist for me until I went looking for it. In the same manner I was unaware that I did not see the persona in the left side of someone else's face. It took a great deal of time and effort and play to discern the difference of how I see another's face and the way there is a total adaptation of my musculoskeletal orientation based on what I see. I believe I can now talk using both hemispheres of my brain based on the new musculature and perceptual differentiation.