In the 1960’s, Professor Roger Sperry was amongst the first scientists to discover the left and right sides of the brain performed different functions. His work was primarily based on studying people with mental illness or physical brain damage.
His research won him a Nobel prize.His research papers had great titles that indicate where he was coming from:
“Interhemispheric relationships: the neocortical commissures; syndromes of hemisphere disconnection.”
“Lateral specialization in the surgically separated hemispheres.”
… this was pioneering stuff !!
Nowadays, scientists can temporarily anaestasise sides or parts of the brain while normal and healthy ‘patients’ are awake and then they can study what functions are affected. With MRI scanners, we can see which bits of our brain ‘light up’ when we perform certain tasks or think certain types of thoughts. Neuroscience is truly entering a Golden Age.
In his phenomenal book, The Master and His Emissary, Iain McGilchrist describes how a chicken uses its right eye to look for grain while its left eye scans for predators and danger. He also postulates how left and right brain functions have changed over time influenced, as they are, by cultural advances and education – i.e. brain training.
Remarkably, several mystics ‘knew’ about the hemispheric differences years before the advent of brain scanners. It was thought the left brain worked inside space and time and was the ‘generator’ of consciousness. They ‘knew’ the right brain operates as a ‘receiver’ of thought and acts everywhere and ‘everywhen’ else.
It has been discovered recently that the corpus collosum, which connects the two sides of the brain, actually suppresses one side of the brain while the other gets on with its ‘job’.
It’s generally agreed that Whole Brain Thinking is a ‘good thing’ and I can testify that when you do it that 1+1 equals at least three if not more.
In this next blog series as part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge, I’ll be introducing simple techniques we can all do to activate and integrate both sides of our brain.
I’ll be covering:
- The Inspirational Breath
- Cross crawling
- Mind Mapping
- Food for thought
- Which side are you on?
To get you started and warm you up, read this blog and listen to the free audio visualisation on Getting in the Zone
So tune in for the next week of blogs if you want to increase your creativity and productivity by leaps and bounds.
If you would you like to learn more about these techniques, make sure you get a copy of Tom’s new book to find out where ideas really come from and how you can make sure yours actually happen …