Our mind is comprised of two separate sides, each doing their own thing, yet always in communication with each other.
Our right hemisphere handles:
* Recognizing faces
Our left hemisphere handles:
* The ability to understand and produce speech
* Analytical though
- Is there an advantage to this hemispheric lateralization?
Most studies have proven that the very process of our brain dedicating areas for certain tasks allows our minds to perform more than one task at a time. We can recognize a human face using the right side of our brain, while the left side of our brain allows us the ability to say, “Hi, Joe.”, to the face we know. Both sides working on the same issue, at the same moment in time.
- What happens if the two sides of the brain stop communicating to each other?
This has been studied in patients with epilepsy: patients with severe seizures have had their corpus callosum severed to stop the two sides of the brain from sending harmful neurological signals back and forth. These patients – known as split brain patients – usually function quiet normally after being treated.
One studied found a rather rare phenomena happen: a right handed women who suffered a stroke that affected her left side, has what is termed “alien hand syndrome.” This women had been recovering for a while when the doctors first saw her, but they could see that her left arm, and hand, appeared to belong to someone besides this patient…. it was doing its own thing, independent of this patient’s will.
One reason for this reaction is that the two sides of the brain are no longer communicating with each other, allowing the personalities of the right and left brain to shine through. Since this woman’s stroke affected her left side (which is controlled by the emotional right side of the brain), the right brain was no longer under the control of the ever analytical and methodical left brain and was allowed to do its own thing.
The right brain controls emotions and creativity. It also is very capable of processing negative thoughts. This helps explain why so many artists suffer from depression. The left brain is more than happy to cruise along thinking positive thoughts.
Studies done on stroke patients have shown that those with damage in the “happy” left brain suffer more from depression than do those who have damage to their “negative” right brains.
The two gateways to positive thinking lie in the left brain:
- * The physical gateway:
Since you already know that each side of the brain controls the opposite side of your body, you can actually use this knowledge to your advantage. Maybe you can understand conversations better if you are standing to the right of the speaker. We may perceive things with our right side, but the info goes to the positive left brain and sorts it out much better. If you want to punish someone, do it to their left side in order for them to process in the negative right brain. Remember, love and affection on the right, pain and punishment on the left.
- The “coffee” gateway:
Dopamine (responsible for pleasure and reward) works best on the left side of the brain; this is the reason it is so addictive. A link between caffeine and positivity was seen after coffee drinkers where studied. Coffee drinkers not only recognized words describing positive emotions, but they also were positive people. Coffee is a stimulant upon the dopamine pathways – this leads the coffee drinker down a path of happiness as caffeine is released into their fluffy, bright, always cheerful left brain.
- Further thoughts on your brain:
This article contains but a minute portion of the amazing abilities of the human brain. The best thing about this mysterious organ within our heads – we have the ability to search out more information using both sides of our brain. See for yourself what is out there. You’ll be amazed at what your own brain is capable of.
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