Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Diego. Diego Wonders, “How do we know if our left brain is our smart side and our right brain is our creative side?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Diego!
Have you ever been called a “brain"? If you get good grades, then chances are you probably have. Many people associate the brain with intelligence, which makes sense since that's where our body stores facts and memories.
Your brain is divided into two halves called hemispheres. Many people believe that these different sides of the brain — the left and the right — control different ways of thinking. Many people also believe that each person uses one side of the brain more than the other.
For example, left-brain thinkers are believed to be logical, rational, analytical, and objective. They analyze the parts of things to learn how they logically and accurately fit together. They're supposedly better at things like language, math, reasoning, and critical thinking.
Right-brain thinkers, on the other hand (or other brain!), are believed to be more random, subjective, and intuitive. They look at the whole before them and focus on feelings and creativity. They're supposedly better at things like music, art, and expressing emotion.
Does one of these types of thinking seem to apply to you? Are you a left-brained, logical mathematician? Or are you a right-brained, free-thinking artist? Of course, you could be both. Some people believe that there are people who are whole-brained, which means that they use both sides equally.
These theories about left and right-brain thinking developed from the work of Roger W. Sperry, who studied the brain to learn how epilepsy works. Sperry noticed that cutting the structure that connects the two halves of the brain — called the corpus collosum — could reduce or eliminate seizures.
Cutting this structure also caused other unique effects that led Sperry to believe that the different halves of the brain controlled different functions. Later research has found that the brain might not be as divided as Sperry thought. For example, researchers have found that mathematical ability is strongest when both halves of the brain work together.
While there may be differences between how the two halves of the brain work, most functions exist in both halves of the brain and can benefit from both halves of the brain working together. You can put this to use in your daily life. While it might be good to approach something logically, it's also beneficial to take a creative approach to problems, too!