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.