Does human behavior cause us to have a dominant side of our brain? We hear about people being more dominant on one side or the other, but is it true?
There are millions of online quizzes and tests, many of which determine whether a person is more of a “right-brained” person or a “left-brained” person, a characteristic that supposedly determines a person’s personality and behavior. The idea comes up in books like The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, as well, and numerous online articles.
The theory is that if a person is right-brain dominated, they are more creative and enjoy art, music, and other things that are inclined towards imaginative thinking more than logic, the sciences, and mathematics, are things that left-brained people prefer. It came about because of the idea that each side of the brain-controlled certain interests and ways of thinking, but many scientists wonder if the conjecture is actually true and if human beings can truly be left-or right-brained.
The Science Behind Human Behavior
The brain is made up of 100 billion neurons, and yet, it only weighs three pounds, controlling many actions and responses in the body. Whether or not a person can be left-or right-brained, it can’t be disputed that the brain is divided into two hemispheres, each responsible for certain things and doing certain jobs, communicating with each other and connecting to each other through the corpus callosum, which is a bundle of nerves in between the two sides.
The left side of the brain actually controls the muscles on the right side of the face and vice versa. The theory of right and left brains was developed by Nobel Peace Prize-winning scientist Roger W. Sperry. He studied the effect that removing the corpus callosum from epilepsy patients had on their ability to function and name objects controlled by either side of the brain.
The right brain is commonly associated with recognizing faces, reading emotions, color and music, and other facets involving imagination and creativity, while the left side is thought to specialize in logic, language, critical thinking skills, and other tasks involving numbers and reasoning in general.
Myth or Fact?
Scientific studies and research prove that there is no doubt that the left and right sides of the brain control certain parts of the body, impulses, and reactions. But it has also largely been accepted that a person nearly never has a dominant side of the brain, isn’t completely left-or right-brained, and that the brain in fact works best when both sides are working together.
A scientific study was conducted where the brain activity of 1,000 people was monitored. The results showed that both sides of the brain were used equally, and there really was no dominant side. Logical tasks can often require creativity, and creative tasks often need logical thinking, too.
Scientists also believe that the amount of connection between the left and right sides of the brain varies depending on the task at hand and that some actions and thought processes are controlled more by the left or the right side of the brain.
Utilizing the Potential of Human Behavior
Humans are largely considered the most complex beings on the planet, and the idea of them being placed into one category, such as left-brained or right-brained, seems absurd. Of course, there are likely people who use traits associated with a certain side of the brain more than others, but that doesn’t mean the one side they utilize more often is necessarily dominant.
It makes sense that the most successful in an activity or response happens when the two sides work together by way of the corpus callosum. One of the most important things concerning this theory is that humans that believe they are right-or left-minded people need to understand that while they may be best suited for a job that corresponds with the characteristics associated with a certain side of the brain, they don’t necessarily have to be.
Theories like this can distract people from the idea that their potential and skill set is often way more diverse than they believe, but the fact is that the idea of right-and left-brained people isn’t scientifically-backed, so they shouldn’t allow an online quiz or personality test to determine their future careers or life in general.