How the World Looks: Left Brain vs Right Brain

In order for the brain to operate at its peak complexity, each side of the brain must be specialized. If both sides of the brain can handle a task equally well, then the brain is not at its most efficient. Here is a glimpse into what the left and right brains are all about.

How the World Looks from the Left Brain

The left brain is detail oriented. It sees the trees rather than the forest. It breaks the world up into small, discrete pieces, and it analyzes every piece step-by-step, looking for a pattern to emerge. It then remembers that pattern and uses it to predict the most likely outcome and plan the most appropriate response. It’s more interested in things that are man-made and mechanical than biological or natural. It takes things literally and gives us clarity. It gives us the ability to handle the world around us.

The following are common left brain characteristics:

  • Focus on details
  • Small muscle control
  • Verbal language
  • Literal
  • IQ
  • Approach behavior
  • Positive emotions
  • Math calculation
  • Word reading
  • Explicit memory
  • Practical
  • Curious
  • Activates the immune system
  • Top-down control

How the World Looks from the Right Brain

The right hemisphere is all about the big picture. It processes all its information at once. There is nothing logical or linear about the right brain. It takes a holistic view of the world. The right hemisphere rules posture, gait and balance. It is also in charge of nonverbal communication. The right brain helps us to read other people’s intentions and emotions. It also allows us to be in touch with our own body and emotions. It’s where we get our gut feelings or intuition, and it comprehends that the world is always changing. Imagination is stored here.

The following are common right brain characteristics:

  • Focus on the big picture
  • Large muscle control
  • Body language
  • Figurative
  • EQ
  • Avoidance behavior
  • Negative emotions
  • Math reasoning
  • Reading comprehension
  • Implicit memory
  • Unpredictable
  • Cautious
  • Suppresses immune system
  • Bottom-up control

To discover more about a brain based approach to health and wellness, check out my book “Autism: The Scientific Truth About Preventing, Diagnosing, and Treating Autism Spectrum Disorders – and What Parents Can Do Now.” It not only offers insight into childhood neurological disorders, but also ¬†includes an adult hemispheric checklist that provides information about your cognitive style and hemispheric imbalance. Keep in mind that having a brain imbalance is not necessarily a bad thing. We’re all at least a little out of balance. What you want to know is how mild or severe your imbalance is and identify your strengths and weaknesses.