Your divided brain

Put the three parts of your brain back together and pause to admire them! Imagine you are a magician doing a trick with an orange, which you have secretly cut in half beforehand. You tap the orange and it magically falls neatly into two halves, a right and a left hemisphere, before an astonished audience. Imagine your brain falling into two halves, with the same startling effect.

The ancient Egyptians first noticed that the left side of our brain appeared to control the right half of our body, and vice versa. More recently and more significantly, in the 1960s Roger Sperry discovered that the two halves of the brain are associated with very different activities. It was he who first cut through the connection between them, known as the corpus callosum.

For many centuries before this, scientists thought that we had two brains, just as we have two kidneys, two ears, and two eyes. Work on stroke patients, however, where parts of their brains have been damaged, gives us some interesting further clues. It seems that the left side mainly handles sequential, mathematical, and logical issues, while the right is more creative and associative in the way it works. The left is literal, while the right enjoys metaphorical interpretation. The two sides perform different functions, the left side, for example, dealing with much of the brain's language work.

Roger Ornstein, in The Right Mind, has since gone further in showing how the two halves actually work together and how the right side has a special role in dealing with the more complex overall meaning of many of the issues we face today.

Indeed, the idea of being left- or right-brained is becoming more commonly used in business. Ned Hermann, while working at General Electric, translated much of this into useful insights for the workplace, exploring how each of us has inbuilt preferences toward the left or the right side of our brains. The left brain is the more logical and rational half. It makes judgments and relies on the intellect. It likes to do things one at a time and plays by the rules. The right side is the source of our intuition and imagination. It is playful and likes to take great leaps of thought. It enjoys creating new patterns and solutions.

Hermann takes the idea that our brains have two halves and adds to it a theory that we have already met, that higher-order thinking takes place at the top of your "learning" brain, while the more basic emotional functions are located at the bottom, toward the "reptilian" brain.

Hermann suggests that your instinctive characteristics will be different depending on which side and which "quarter" of your brain is dominant. Your brain is, in a sense, hot-wired to lead you to want to act in certain ways.

/ Logical. Analytical. / Mathematical. Problem / solver. Fact focused

/ Or: Head screwed on. Dependable. / Eye for detail. Helpfully well organized. Not prone to emotional outbursts

Or: Number cruncher. Power hungry. Unemotional. Calculating. Uncaring.

Cold fish. Nerd.

Imaginative. Synthesizer. Artistic. Big picture. Theoretical. Fantasy focused.

Or: Creative. Thinks out of the box. Big-picture thinker. Strategist. Full of ideas. \

Or: Reckless. Can't focus. Unrealistic. Off the wall. Dreamer. Undisciplined. Head in the clouds.

Controlled. Conservative. Planner. Organizer. Administrative.

Process focused.

Or: Displined. Well organized.

Good at systems. \ Safe pair of hands.

Or: Picky. Can't think for \ themselves. Unimaginative.

Stick in the mud. Grinds out the task

Interpersonal. Emotional. Musical. Spiritual. Talker. Feeling focused.

Or: Good with people. Emotionally smart. Considerate. Great communicator.

Or: Bleeding heart. All mouth. Touchy-feely. Pushover. Soft touch. Wet.

How To Accomplish More In A Fraction Of The Time

How To Accomplish More In A Fraction Of The Time

The pace and intensity of our lives, both at work and at home, leave several of us feeling like a person riding a frantically galloping horse. Our day-to-day incessant busyness too much to do and not enough time; the pressure to produce and check off items on our to-do list by each day’s end seems to decide the direction and quality of our existence for us.

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