For those interested in more detail about the difference between the left and right brains, here are two quick recaps.
Iain McGilchrist, a psychiatrist and neuroscience researcher, has provided a bold new and important perspective in his best-selling book The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World.
The left brain:
- Focuses narrowly on what is already known to be important
- Excels at what is isolated and static
- Deals with what is abstract and lifeless; has no use for context
- Offers linear, logical, sequential thinking
- Wants to manipulate the world; breaks the world down into things it can label and try to control
- Does not know–or care–about what it does not know; doesn’t know its own limitations
- Narrows things down to “certainty”–a world of either/or
- Concerned with internal coherence of its representation of reality
- Can make a case for itself through language
The right brain:
- Offers broad, open attention to the world
- Scans for what is different and unexpected
- Deals with people and living beings
- Focuses on what’s interconnected and evolving
- Understands context, meaning, and emotion
- Wants to understand and make sense of the world, not control it
- Understands the big picture and how the pieces fit together
- Opens things up into possibility; is happy with both/and
- Cannot make a case for itself through language
A more traditional view of the left vs. right brain comes from Science News:
Source: “Clinical and Experimental Evidence of Hemispheric Domination as of 1976”, Science News, 109 (14): 219. Thanks to Inside Her Pretty Little Head by Jane Cunningham & Philippa Roberts for bringing this reference to my attention.