You may have heard people say they are “left brained” or “right brained”, but what does that really mean? What are the functions of the left brain and the right brain and what does it really mean to be left or right brain dominant?
The left hemisphere of the brain is responsible for planning, attention to detail, linear procedures and conscious movement.The left brain likes to break things into small pieces to analyze them. The left side of the brain also coordinates all things related to language such as reading, writing and speaking.
The right hemisphere is involved in processes such as creativity, intuition and visualization. The right side of the brain also picks up on non verbal cues, emotions and controls our impulses. The immune system is highly regulated and influenced by the right side of the brain as well as major autonomic functions such as digestion and heart rate. The right brain is also responsible for posture, balance and gait. .
Traditional education does a great job of nurturing the left hemisphere of the brain. Learning reading, writing, math and science skills feed the left side which loves detail oriented, logical, linear thinking tasks. However, western society may be lacking when it comes to nurturing the right hemisphere. Taking time to do something creative such as arts and crafts, visualization, listening to music and playing make believe will strengthen the right side of the brain.
Balance is key. Both sides of the brain are able to communicate through the corpus callosum. Having a strong right and left side of the brain is crucial for proper function. The right hemisphere sees the big picture and the left hemisphere will fill in the details so your brain can understand the whole picture.