Before you read this article, place your hand on your head and cross your legs.
This pose is designed to increase your susceptibility to brainwashing. Well, not really, but it does deal with your brain! It may seem silly or overly simple, but these actions can give tremendous insight into the way you think.
You are probably familiar with the terms “right brain” and “left brain.” The human brain is divided into two equal halves (right and left) that have specialized functions and unique influences on our thought processes, personality traits, behavioral tendencies, and physical movements. Both sides are active and working together at all times, but they divvy up their chores.
The right side of your brain controls movement of the left side of your body and is responsible for functions of creativity, such as:
- Spatial awareness
Driven by emotion, this half of your brain works to capture “the big picture” and give meaning to things. It takes charge during artistic activities, whether you’re doodling, enjoying music, contemplating your existence, or imagining a cascade of changes in your life upon finishing this profound article.
The left side of your brain controls movement of the right side of your body and is responsible for functions of logic, which include:
- Critical thinking
- Number skills
This half has the emotional capacity of a calculator. It deals with all of the things that bore the right half: problem-solving, calculating, analyzing and organizing information, speaking, etc. While the right side is still considering a plan of attack against an army of tasks or problems, the left side has already begun knocking them out, one by one.
The Split Brain
We know the two halves of our brains are unique, but who figured it out?
In the 1960s, psychobiologist Roger Sperry made important discoveries about communication between the two halves of our brain while treating epileptic patients. He realized that he could sever the corpus callosum, a band of neural tissue that connects the two halves of the brain, to alleviate symptoms of epilepsy.
When this connection is lost, the two halves of the brain do not know what the other is thinking, and this allowed Sperry to observe the unique functions of each side of the brain. One astounding example is the presentation of an object to only the left eye of a split-brain patient. The object is perceived and understood by the right half of the brain, but since the speech control center is in the left side of the brain, a split-brain patient does not have the ability to vocalize what they are seeing.
Think about the pose from before. It required two different actions. Which hand did you place on your head? Did you cross your legs with your right leg or left leg on top? We generally choose to use one side of our body more than the other (i.e. handedness and footedness), which causes us to develop dominance with one side of our brain. But it influences more than movement!
Your day-to-day activities and talents are good indicators of this dominance. Perhaps you work with graphics and illustrations, play a musical instrument, or have a plethora of ideas to start your own business. The right side of your brain fuels your creative nature. Or perhaps you work with numbers, perform research, or think starting a business is foolish. The left side of your brain is making logic the center of your universe.
These are just general examples, but our talents and passions have a strong correlation with the dominance of one half of our brain. If you understand the way your brain works, you can take advantage of your strengths and excel in your studies, work, and other personal endeavors. Plus, who doesn’t enjoy being good at what they do!?