According to the research in the bio-medical field, the human brain is made up of two "hemispheres", i.e., two halves. These two halves are called the "right hemisphere" and "left hemisphere" (Dorfsman, 1997). Since the early 19th century, considerable research and studies have been done in the medical field to gain a better understanding of the brain hemisphericity (Dorfsman, 1997).
In 1836, Marc Dax found that his 40 patients, who had lost the speaking ability, were diagnosed with left brain impairment. After studying the condition of these patients, Marc Dax was the first to claim that two brain hemispheres function differently (Dorfsman, 1997). Further, in the late 19th century, Karl Wemickle and Paul Broca's significant research in the field acknowledged the link between the language skills and the left brain hemisphere (Dorfsman, 1997). In 1916, Reichardt and Holmes found that people with the right hemisphere impairment had spatial problems. Also, they found that people had issues with their limbs on the opposite portion of the damaged brain hemisphere. For example, individuals with left brain damages had problems using their right leg, arm, etc. (Dorfsman, 1997) From these examinations, the researchers concluded that the left and right hemispheres of human beings control the opposite sides of their bodies (UCMAS, 2014). In other words, the left brain hemisphere controls the right side's processes and vision of the right eye, while the right brain hemisphere controls the left side's processes and vision of the left eye (UCMAS, 2014). Further, with the regular research and studies in the medical science, the theory of brain hemisphericity was developed in the late 20th century.
According to the theory of brain hemisphericity, each hemisphere has its own perceptions, ideas, thoughts, and private sensations which are separated from the related senses in the opposite hemisphere. Each right and left hemisphere has its own separate chain of learning experiences and memories that are available to recall by the opposite hemisphere (Brain Hemisphericity and Learning Style, n.d.). The neurosurgeons and brain researchers have found that each hemisphere processes the information differently and is involved in a different field of interests. For instance, the left hemisphere involves logic, thinking, reasoning and verbal aspects while the right hemisphere does visual-spatial functions, involves creativity, and appreciation of music and art (Brain Hemisphericity and Learning Style, n.d.). According to Poul Thompsen and Ann Howe, hemisphericity can play a crucial role in student motivation and learning. The research claims that when a person is interested in the subject, the related information progresses in the right hemisphere, enhancing the understanding and knowledge of the person about the topic. Later, the information passes to the left hemisphere for the analytical evaluation of it (Brain Hemisphericity and Learning Style, n.d.).
The researchers have determined that the human brain hemispheres function separately and in accordance with each other. Both hemispheres share information like sensory observations to each other by means of the corpus callosum which attaches them with each other (Remy, 2011). The right hemisphere regulates the function of the muscles on the left part of the human body, while the function of the muscles on the other side of the body is controlled by the left hemisphere (Remy, 2011). Mainly due to such crisscross connection, impairment in one side of the brain causes a negative impact on the opposite part of the body. Linguistic skills are mostly influenced by the left hemisphere. Processing of the heard information and handling of the speaking duties are carried out by the left brain. It is also in charge of processing correct mathematical computations and logic (Remy, 2011). The left brain is objective, rational, logical, sequential, and analytical, while the right brain is mostly intuitive, subjective, random, synthesizing, and spontaneous (Brain Hemisphericity and Learning Style, n.d.). Right brain mainly controls the functions such as face recognition, music evaluation, and major spatial skills. It also helps in analyzing visual imagery. It plays some role in linguistic skill too, especially in understanding and evaluating a person's tone and context (Remy, 2011).
Whether a person is left-brained or right-brained and the preferences of the right brain and left brain are way complex than a mere left brain versus right brain equation. For instance, some people write with their right hand but throw the ball with their left hand (Remy, 2011). Studies found that almost 2/3 of left-handed people and 97% of right-handed people have the linguistics functions in their left brain hemisphere. Also, "temporal plane' part of the brain is 70% longer in the left brain than in the right brain for the majority of the people (Dorfsman, 1997). Those who do not show such asymmetry in their brain suffer from disorders like dyslexia. However, there is still insufficient knowledge about the influence of brain asymmetry on overall functions of the left brain and right brain (Dorfsman, 1997). The brain precisely manages the right balance of total functions and responsibilities of each hemisphere in order to maximize its efficiency and functionality. According to professor of London University, Stephen Wilson, brain asymmetry plays a key role in proper brain working mechanism. It allows the right brain and left brain to improve their efficiency and processing abilities and avoid any conflict when both hemispheres attempt to take charge (Remy, 2011).
In conclusion, the theory of brain hemispheres shows that each brain has a mind of its own and specific fields of interest. It is found that the right brain is the artistic side while the left brain is the logical side. Also, the importance of right and left hemisphere in learning activities cannot be ignored, and teachers should develop teaching methods that can trigger active participation of left and right hemisphere of students. The concept of brain hemisphericity is still developing, and further research and studies in the field will definitely help to understand brain asymmetry and the role of each brain hemisphere in improving particular skills and functions of the human body.
- Brain Hemisphericity and Learning Style. (n.d.).
- Dorfsman, Y. (1997, December 5). Hemisphericity of the brain and its consequences on education.
- Remy, M. (2011, January 12). What's the difference between the right brain and left brain?.
- UCMAS. (2014). Left Brain Vs Right Brain.