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home | Feature Articles | The Two Sides to every Brain
 

The Two Sides to every Brain
Tonya Reiman
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The human brain, although only the size of two fists, is an amazingly intricate organ. Without the brain, humans could not function or live; they could not eat, breathe, walk, or communicate. In fact, our bodies would be rendered useless. The brain is divided in two: the left brain and the right brain. Both sides of the brain have specific functions, but sometimes the two sides of the brain interact and work together. The right brain focuses on the expression and reading of emotions, understanding metaphors, and reading faces while the left brain is far more logical, focusing on language skills, analytical time sequence processing and skilled movement. Interestingly, the eyes are connected to the brain in a criss-cross fashion; what the left eye sees, for example, is sent to the right side of the brain for interpretation. That being said, the way we use our eyes to communicate with others can have an impact on the way that communication is interpreted. The following article will investigate both sides of the brain and how they can affect communication and human interactions. The human brain is a small, but mighty organ that works constantly to ensure our bodies work properly. Oftentimes, tasks are divided up between the sides of the brain; sometimes there is little communication between the left brain and the right brain. Instead, they work on their own to complete different tasks. The left brain focuses largely on consciousness, language, and linguistic thought; it is the side of the brain that controls the ability to talk and think in words Further, the left brain is responsible for listening and analyzing spoken and written language. It is largely analytical and reasonable; it analyzes things mathematically and without emotion . Differently, the right brain is very emotional; it cannot read, spell or write and it cannot understand many aspects of human speech. Instead, the right brain expresses itself vocally through things that do not need to be reasonable or rational; the right brain sings, swears, cries, prays or makes cooing sounds of love and sorrow. The left brain can talk logically whereas the right brain is forced to express itself through, arguably, more artistic means. What does all of this mean for communication? Communication is one of the human interactions where the left and right brain work together. The left brain, as mentioned, understands and deciphers words in their most basic form; it does not understand tone of voice or underlying meanings. The right brain, however, does understand tone and deeper meanings of conversations, as it is the half of the brain responsible for understanding emotion. When both sides of the brain are not working together, human communication are based either on sounds and emotions or on words without emotion. When both sides of the brain are not working, communication is often misunderstood and humans take things the wrong way. We, as humans, need the right and left brain to cooperate to understand conversations and the meaning behind them. For instance, picture two friends teasing and joking around with one another. One friend says to the other, "I hate you!" The left brain hears and understands the words, "I", "hate" and "you". The right brain, differently, can sense and understand sarcasm. With both sides of the brain working together, the other friend realizes this is a sarcastic, playful statement. Had just the left brain been working, it would have seemed as though your friend truly did hate you! Research has shown that sometimes people use one side of the brain more than they use the other and that this can lead to overdependence on a certain side. This has been shown to be common in social and emotional events; when communicating, people have started to rely more on the left side, meaning that information is not transferred to the emotional, right side of the brain. Studies demonstrate that occasionally the left brain refuses to give up control over behaviour and overlooks the perceptions of the right brain. It is believed this over reliance on the left side of the brain is unfortunate because the left brain is so concrete and logical; it tends to forget to appreciate the strengths of the right brain. However, there may be certain benefits to over reliance on the left brain; for instance, when first meeting someone, it may be beneficial to line up ones right eye with the other person so that the left brain analyzes the situation. This would mean your first meeting would be interpreted largely analytically and logically, without emotion. This could lead to meetings that were unbiased by emotional attachments. One must be careful with this reliance on the left brain during first meetings, though. While it may help in an unbiased, unemotional first meeting, ignoring the right brain can also mean that we ignore our intuition and ignore potentially important red flags. The right brain is in charge of our intuition, our "gut feelings". If we over rely on the left brain, we may find ourselves interacting with people who have malevolent intentions. The brain, as we have seen, is a complex organ, responsible for nearly every human action. While the right side of the brain focuses largely on understand emotions, metaphors and faces, the left side focuses on analytical situations, skilled movement and logic. Concerning communication, it seems that it is best to use both sides of the brain: the left to understand and analyze conversations and interactions and the right to understand emotions and to protect us from potentially harmful situations.

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