Most of us are aware that the brain is the most complex and hardworking organ in the human body. However, there are several other interesting facts about the human brain that a majority of the people don’t know about. There’s also a school of thought which believes that the dominant side of the brain determines a person’s nature.
You may have already come across the online tests that ask you to answer a bunch of questions to tell you whether you are left-brained or right-brained. But is it true that one half of the brain is different than the other half? Does the dominance of one side of the brain determine a person’s nature? Let’s see what the studies and researchers have to say.
The Left Brain vs. Right Brain Belief
According to a theory, people are either left-brained or right-brained, meaning that one side of the human brain is dominant. The analytical and methodic thinking is associated with the left side of the brain, while creative and artistic thinking is linked with the right side of the brain.
The theory was derived from the research of Nobel Prize-winning psycho-biologist Roger W. Sperry (1960). His study highlighted that the left brain is better at things like reading, writing and computations. It is more verbal, analytical and orderly than its right counterpart.
Sperry’s research further revealed that the right brain is more visual and intuitive than the left brain and has a more creative way of thinking, driving things like imagination, visualisation of feelings, arts, intuition, etc.
A team of neuroscientists put this theory into a test, and after two years of study, they found no proof in support of this theory. The MRI of 1000 people showed than the human brain does not exactly favour one side over the other. The person receives inputs from both sides of his/her brain while engaging in an activity.
What Do the Latest Studies Have to Say?
In today’s date, neuroscientists support the fact that the two sides of the brain collaborate to perform a wide range of tasks, and the two sides communicate through Corpus Callosum. In an article published in the Discover magazine, science writer Carl Zimmer has explained that irrespective of how lateralised the brain can get, the two sides still work in collaboration.
According to a study from the University of Utah, brain scans have shown similar activity on both sides of the brain, irrespective of the person’s nature. The lead author of the study, Dr Jeff Anderson agreed to the fact that some brain functions are inherent to one of the sides of the brain, but people do not tend to have a stronger left or right-sided brain network.
There is enough evidence to prove that the whole left brain vs right brain comparison is pointless, and it is nothing but a myth. However, people still study the theory for fun or as a point of historical interest in the study of learning the evolution of the ideas behind how the brain functions take place.
While most researches and studies suggest that the theory of having a dominant side of the brain is a myth, one cannot completely discard the theory put up by Roger W. Sperry. After all, he studied the brain functions in patients who had their corpus callosum surgically severed (to treat refractory epilepsy).
For now, Sperry’s findings may have been dismissed with more dated and accurate findings. However, there is still a lot more to know about the functions of the complex network system of the brain. Who knows, maybe the online test you took a few years ago was actually right about you being a right-brained person!