Saturday, November 27, 2010

Why do we have Two Brains?

Why is the Cerebral Cortex Split in Two?

There are several existential questions we need to ask ourselves
as to why we each walk around with two brains housed inside a single head

Why are two cerebral cortex's necessary for our survival?
Do both brains experience the same perception of reality?
If not, what is the basic function of each brain?
How do we process information?
How do we consciously access both brains?
Which side of the brain engages us in dreams?
Why do we dream?
How important are the answers to these questions?

If we can determine the precise evolutionary purpose underlying the need for having two brains
can we, then, evaluate the survival advantages of two separate modes of perception in a more comprehensive manner than we do at present.?

From that position of knowledge we may be able to redefine the enigmatic dynamic of the human psyche – of being both objectively analytic and subjectively intuitive at one and the same time. - and thereby devise and introduce an entirely new methodology designed for a more holistic dual brain education - and in doing so - improve our intelligence and the ethical quality of our lives.

What Science does know about the two brains

Anatomically, we know from split-brain research that the left side of the cortex controls the motor reflexes of the right side of the body and processes mental perception analytically and that the right hemisphere handles the left motor reflexes and is the source of intuitive insights.

Left and Right Brain Modes of Perception

Intellect - intuition
Convergent - divergent
Digital - analogic
Secondary - primary
Abstract - concrete
Directional - free
Propositional - imaginative
Analytic - relational
Lineal - non lineal
Rational - intuitive
Sequential - multiple
Analytic - holistic
Objective - subjective
Successive - simultaneous
"Some Educational Aspects of Hemispheric Specialization "
in UCLA Education 1972

Though not conclusive there is some validity to the argument that the left and rights sides of the brain respectively represents the masculine and feminine principles of the individual psyche

Here are some insights from the I Ching or Book of Changes

Yin - yang
Feminine - masculine
Negative - positive
Moon - sun
Darkness - light
Yielding - aggressive
Left side - right side
Cold - warm
Autumn - spring
Unconscious - conscious
Emotion - reason

After examining data from his split-brain experiments neurosurgeon Professor Sperry made the following statement:

"The main theme to emerge is that there appear to be two modes of thinking, verbal and non-verbal, represented rather separately in left and right hemispheres respectively, and that our education system, as well as science in general tends to neglect the non-verbal form of intellect. What it comers down to is that modern society discriminates against the right hemisphere."

Roger W. Sperry
"Lateral Specialization of Cerebral Function
in Surgically Separated Hemispheres" 1973

In the forty years since wining the Novel Prize for Sperry's work on the two brains, neither the State nor private educational systems has done anything about that warning from the Nobel Prize laureate and tried to correct the imbalance. The main reason why is because nobody as yet has explained exactly what the value of intuitive input is or even why the brain is split into two separate modes of perception in the first place. Consequently nobody is certain how to devise the exact right brain exercises that could correct the imbalance.

One of Sperry's disciples, Dr. Betty Edwards, devised a system of simple drawing exercises designed to excite the right brain into creative expression. She achieved almost instant success with all her beginner art students within a few weeks they progressed from initial childish sketches to astonishing minor master pieces. Since then her book "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" has sold several million copies and remains a perennial best seller

So we know, at least, that the right brain is home to artistic perspective and that with a little stimulus it responds positively and beneficially.

But we still do not know exactly how valuable or how vital that input is - not just in terms of encouraging a more holistic conscious development - but also in terms of how the output of both brains working in harmony could improve the general level of the human intelligence quotient and social behavior in particular

In the next segment
I will post a visual exercise that clearly reveals left/right brain conflict
You can then decide how serious this disconnect is
and whether you want to correct it

Please fell free to comment.

to be continued.....

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