Are you a left-brain learner or a right-brain learner?  Does it matter any longer?  Should we be “whole lobe” learners — or do lateralized brains, instead of mirrored ones, better serve us?

One hypothesis is that a lateralized brain is more powerful than one that works like a mirror image. Instead of two matching parts of the brain performing an identical task, one can take charge, leaving the other free to do something else. Lesley Rogers, a biologist at the University of New England in Australia, tested this hypothesis on chickens. The birds use their left hemisphere to peck for seeds and their right hemisphere to detect predators. Some chickens have more lateralized brains than others, and there is a simple way to make any chicken more lateralized: Just shine a light on it while it is still in the egg. Chick embryos usually develop with the left eye tucked inward and the right eye facing out. The stimulation of light on the right eye alters the developing left-brain hemisphere but not the right.

Rogers and her colleagues reared 27 chicks that had been exposed to light and 24 that had not. Each day the researchers put the chicks in a special box with grain and pebbles scattered on the floor; at the same time, they distracted the birds by moving a hawk-shaped cutout overhead. They then observed how well the chicks were able to distinguish between pebbles and grain. Light-exposed chicks learned to do a much better job. Rogers concludes that lateralized brains allowed the chicks to multitask more effectively, with each eye handling a separate job.

Are we the essence of the duplicity of our brains?

Or are we stronger, and more cogent, in diving the mind and letting each hemisphere create its own realism, catharsis and concentration of the human spirit?


  1. I’d like to lateralize my own thinking some days. I sometimes rely too much on one side or the other and don’t use both. (Do you ever feel one part of your brain working harder?)

  2. That’s interesting, Gordon. I haven’t felt one side of my brain working more than the other. How do you know when that’s happening with you? Do you get an ache or do you think clearer?

  3. Sometimes when I am writing and I get a burst of inspiration and the writing just pours out of me – I think that means one side is being super productive.

  4. I read somewhere that our ability to write with our left hand or right hand is determined by which side of the brain we use.
    I can remember that when I was in school, if a child was learning to write and they favored their left hand that they were made to use their right hand instead. It was looked upon as a type of retardation to be left-handed. Of course, I hope that we all know better than that now! It actually has to do with the brain emissions and how they are relayed.
    In any case, this article does pose some interesting questions. If we are more reliant on one side of the brain than the other, can we truly lateralize our own minds just as we would train a child? Seeing as we don’t truly access and use the full possibilities of our minds capabilities, the answer is anyone’s guess. I personally would prefer to think that we can improve our thinking processes and expand our minds.

  5. The brain is an incredible wonder, Kimberley, and I wonder how quickly we will opening another Pandora’s box when we figure out precisely how we dream and remember and feel pleasure and pain. Once those secrets are revealed, we will be able to control every thought and impulse and that seems to me, a dangerous thing that we will not be able to avoid. I’m sure the military will figure it out before the medical community.

  6. It would definitely be a “Pandora’s Box!” The allurement of it however, will catch us like a moth to the flame! I don’t think there will be much resistance, in the name of science of course. Well, that’s the response we have been getting on everything lately.
    I concur that the military will most likely succeed the medical community in the field of neurological research. By normal military standards, when they finally release knowledge to the people concerning research … they have already been utilizing that knowledge for nearly ten years. We are always the last to know!

  7. That’s right, Kimberley! We will be the last to know, but the first forced to join the hive mind. We will lose our personality and our individual will. It’s coming for us; they’re coming for us — and we can’t get out of the way.

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