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Psychology Right Brain, Left Brain The article in which I chose to examine

is called Right Brain, Left Brain: Fact and Fiction, written by Jerre Levy. In the
past fifteen years or so there has been a lot of talk of left brain and right brain
people. Levy's reason for righting this article was clearly to stop the
misconceptions and show the truth about how our brain hemispheres operate.
Levy first explores the myth of the left brain and right brain theory. She
states that generally people see the left hemisphere of the brain controlling logic
and language and the right, creativity and intuition. In addition people differ in
their styles of thought, depending on which half of the brain is dominant. She
believes that most of what these notions state is farce. Next the article
explores the history of this fascination of the left and right hemispheres of the
brain. Apparently the study of this aspect of the brain traces back to time of
Hippocrates. Levy weaves in and out of the various theories and prominent people
known for contributing to the confusion. It wasn't until 1962 when Roger W. Sperry
began experimenting on certain aspects of the brain that contribute to the truth of
the left and right brain theory. Sperry studied people who had undergone surgical
division of the corpus callosum, the bridge between the two hemispheres. His
studies showed that, "an object placed in the right hand (left hemisphere) could be
named readily, but one placed in the left hand (nonverbal right hemisphere) could
be neither named nor described. Next to branch off of Sperry's studies was
psychologist Doreen Kimura. Kimura developed behavioral methods which involved
presenting visual stimuli rapidly to either the left or right visual fields.
Another important method developed was "dichotic listening" which centered around
the use of sound to study the hemispheres. Through these tests and the continual
study the theory that the left brain controlled ended. Instead a new theory was
born known as the two-brain theory. This said that at different times one of the
two hemispheres would be operating. An example of this is that the right
hemisphere is in control when an artist paints but the left hemisphere was in
control when a novelist wrote a book. This theory failed because of one
physical studies showed that people with hemispheres surgically disconnected could
operate in everyday life. Also, research demonstrated that each hemisphere had its
own functional expertise, and that the two halves were complementary. Next, the
article states its worth. The author shows the up to date agreed upon theory of
the two hemispheres in five simple points. 1. The two hemispheres are so
similar that when they are disconnected by split-brain surgery, each can function
remarkably well, although quite imperfectly 2. Although they are remarkably
similar they are also different. The differences are seen in contrasting
contributions. Each hemisphere contributes something to every action a person
takes. 3. Logic is not confined to the left hemisphere. Although dominant in the
left logic is present in the right hemisphere. 4. There is no evidence that
either creativity or intuition is an exclusive property of the right hemisphere.
Same theory as #3. 5. Since the two hemispheres do not function independently,
and since each hemisphere contributes its special capacities to all cognitive
activities, it is quite impossible to educate one hemisphere at a time in a normal
brain. Levy comes to the conclusion that people are not purely left or right
brained. There is a continuum in which the hemispheres work together in harmony.
Often the left or right hemisphere is more active in some people but it is never
the sole operator. She concludes, "We have a single brain that generates a single
mental self." Compared to what we did in class related to the left and right
hemispheres of the brain, both what we learned and the article taught were
extremely similar. Our exercise showed that we are not left or right brained but
merely somewhere on the scale between left and right brain. Some of us were extreme
left, few extreme right and most in the middle leaning left a bit (this is where I
fell). I could not agree more with what we did in class and the article I read.
The author wrote a fabulous complete article. In my summary which probably was a
little lengthy, I feel I am not doing the author just. She had so much wonderful
background that there was no way to include it all. She introduced the problem at
hand and explored every aspect of the subject showing other's views and previously
excepted theories. After all was said she introduced her (generally accepted)
theory in a simple well thought out five point system that suited the novice as
well as the expert.