Left vs. right brain

April 20, 2022

While the brain functions using both hemispheres, people may appear right or left brain dominant.These are most easily identified as the right-brain and the left. The idea behind brain dominance is that one hemisphere of the brain is associated with more of your traits than the other side. According to Healthline, “the two hemispheres are tied together by bundles of nerve fibers, creating an information highway.” There is speculation as to if the dominance theory is true though.

All graphics for this story by Emmalie Herd

Left brain “planner” still needs creativity

According to Nobel Prize winner Rodger W. Sperry, the left side of the brain is better at things like reading, writing, and computations. I find myself to have a more analytical and orderly personality, a characteristic associated with a ‘left brained’ person. There are some gray areas in the characteristics though.

Being someone who has more ‘left-brained’ qualities than I do right, I see a lot of these characteristics in my own life. Understanding that I am more analytical has helped me come to terms with the fact that ‘just remembering’ everything I have to do doesn’t work. Making lists and having a constantly up to date planner helps me feel like my life is together. 

Having these different traits can cause a person to approach life differently than someone with a different dominant hemisphere. 

Someone who is ‘left-brained’ will break down tasks into smaller, easier to manage chunks. I notice myself doing this especially when writing; I separate my paragraphs by categories and order my quotes and sources before I do any actual writing. And honestly, my ‘left brained’ personality is exactly what made the first draft of this story a 750 word research paper.

When it comes to how humans communicate with each other, the left side of the brain has a huge role. Because of this, I consider myself a good communicator and at certain times writing and public speaking comes easily. 

Of course, there is no hard and fast rule as to what makes someone’s left brain dominant. One of the many characteristics of this, being good at math and STEM subjects, is something I have never been able to relate to. It also doesn’t mean that someone like me can’t be creative; I can have qualities of both.

According to Healthline, “despite their contrasting styles, the two halves of your brain don’t work independently of each other.” An example seen in an article from Simply Psychology demonstrates that the left brain may figure out what actions will lead to eating food, such as going to a grocery store or even stealing food from someone. The right brain will filter through these, however, and pick going to the grocery store as the more socially acceptable choice.

Sometimes, when one side of the brain is injured the other side can take over some of the injured side’s jobs. In the end, the two must work together to keep a kind of balance necessary for human life.

Creativity still needs organization

My dominant brain rests on the right hemisphere. This means that my life is full of art, creativity, and imagination. My hobbies include painting, skateboarding, and many more solo activities that rest on my own schedule and creativity. Being “right-brained” isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I find myself lacking others’ organization. 

Emmalie is my counterpart, having a dominant left brain, that is demonstrated through her organization and writing. She is far more organized while I can be…chaotic to say the least. However, we make two halves of one amazing friendship and work perfectly together. Without consciously thinking, I often go to Emmalie for any of my organizing, studying, or school work needs and she comes to me with any issues she’s having with people or creativity.

According to the Medical News Today website, right-brainers are creative, free-thinking, and intuitive. They are also good at problem solving and generally more comfortable with the unknown. Design, people services, and marketing are more appealing industries for right-brain dominant people. I know this to be true in my own life because my ideal fields of work are all design based.

Directly correlating with my right-brain dominance, I create easily. Whether it’s tunes, art, or ideas, they come to me quickly and constantly. Because I lack organization though, most of these creations don’t ever materialize. It’s truly a blessing and a curse.

Right brain dominance doesn’t mean that I have no qualities of a left-brainer though. Some of my most typical behaviors are actually qualities of being left brain. For example, I stick to routine foods, and I’ve always been detail oriented. 

However, I have many more qualities of a right-brain dominant person. According to the website Life Hack, there are seven easy characteristics of a right brain and six of a left brain. I check off all seven of the right brain qualities and two of the six left brain qualities. That’s why it’s called dominance rather than strictly left or right. Though I am right-brained, I owe it to both halves of my brain that I am a functioning human. 

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