Monday, March 27, 2006

Right Brain vs. Left Brain

Is there such thing as "Left brain thinkers" and "right brain thinkers"? Some say no...

'Right Brain' or 'Left Brain' -Myth Or Reality? 03 July 1999
By John McCrone
The New Scientist* Magazine issue 2193C New Scientist, RBI Limited 2000

The popular myth about the hemispheres grew largely from "split-brain" research in the 1960s, such as that which later won Roger Sperry of Caltech a Nobel prize..... But, says Joseph Hellige, a psychologist at the University of Southern California, this picture changed dramatically as soon as brain-scanning experiments began to show that both sides of the brain played an active role in such processes. Rather, it seemed to be processing styles that distinguished the two halves."

"The researchers stress that memory performance has nothing to do with so-called "brain dominance." "While the notion of people being right-brained or left-brained is common in the popular press," says Christman, "it has received very little support in the scientific literature. Both hemispheres of all people are going to be involved in virtually all tasks."

The Secret Power of the Brain in Second Language Learning

"Right/left brain theory, which separated the mental functions to either of the hemispheres became the popular trend in the 1970s. Since then, the rapidly growing body of brain research has supported the fact that most brain functions overlap." The original work of right and left brain researchers has been updated by new research. We now know that we usually use both sides of the brain in nearly every activity. It is just a matter of degree, but some individuals have a distinct preference for one of these styles of thinking. Some, however, are more whole-brained and equally adept at both modes of thinking. Therefore we should avoid generalizations about right and left brain activities. All learning involves our body, our emotions, our attitudes and our health. Brain-based learning says that we, as teachers, must address these variables more comprehensively."

In Search of . . . Brain-Based Education By John T. Bruer

The fundamental problem with the right-brain versus left-brain claims that one finds in the education literature is that they rely on our intuitions and folk theories about the brain, rather than on what brain science is actually able to tell us. Our folk theories are too crude and imprecise to have any scientific, predictive, or instructional value. What modern brain science is telling us -- and what brain-based educators fail to appreciate-- is that it makes no scientific sense to map gross, unanalyzed behaviors and skills -- reading, arithmetic, spatial reasoning -- onto one brain hemisphere or another.

No comments: