On this page, you'll find...
Brain Lateralization - Where both sides of your brain are not identical & have different roles & specialized functions
I bet you’ve noticed that some people are always very numerical, rational and logical, maybe even robotic. Computer programmers, engineers, accountants and other technical-type people are some of the people that come to mind.
On the other hand, you have the creative, arty kind of people, very much in touch with their creative and artistic side. People like artists, musicians, actors, sculptors.
Ever wondered why these people are so different from each other? It’s as if they’re "wired" differently!
Actually, that’s not too far off from the truth.
You probably know that your brain is divided into two hemispheres, the left and right hemisphere. Although both left and right sides of your brain look similar, they’re actually not.
This happens in nearly everybody, and is called "Brain Lateralization." In other words, the more both sides of your brain differ, the more brain lateralization or highly lateralized your brain is.
Most people tend to use one side of the brain more than the other, something called "brain dominance".
Some scientists think that it’s due to our genes (similar to left-handedness). Others believe that it’s due to our experiences growing up, education, parental influences, etc.
Although most people prefer to use one hemisphere over the other (usually the left-side of the brain), the average person ocassionally switches between both sides of the brain, depending on the situation and task being performed.
DID YOU KNOW...
Brain lateralization actually has a greater effect on us than just behavior & character.
You probably write with a particular hand (most people are right-handed), kick with a particular foot, look through a magnifying glass or microscope with a particular eye and listen to your hand-phone with a particular ear.
You may not realize it but you actually prefer to use one side of your body over the other.
All these preferences; handedness, eyedness, earedness (I’m not making these up, these are real neurological terms), are actually due to brain lateralization and dominance, rather than any difference in your physical body itself.
Brain Lateralization on the Left-Side
The left side of the brain specializes in hard facts, logic and reason, rational and analytical thought, structure, rules, categorizing and scheduling, mathematics. It learns by reasoning, explanations and memorizing things.
Research experiments show that the left hemisphere is great for detailed and complex tasks, fine and detailed physical movements (usually, but not limited to, hand movements) as well as when you analyze or when we see, hear and feel things closely in detail. The left hemisphere controls the right side of the body.
It’s what we think of as the Mind when we compare the Mind (logic & reasoning) vs. the Heart (emotions & feelings).
In fact, if you think about it, you’ll realize that our entire education system and way of life is based on left-brain thinking (Logic, reasoning & cold hard facts!).
Ever noticed that people who are very logical and emotional tend to have white hairs on the left side of their head?
I didn’t believe it myself until my wife told me that most of the white hair that I have (it’s really not that much, just a couple of strands...) are all on the left-side of my brain.
She says that’s because I’m always so analytical & logical, making decisions based on facts and figures.
Apparently, I’m not much fun, especially when she’s asking which dress or shoe looks better. I always ask how much it costs first...=P
Many "left-brain dominant" people tend to work as computer programmers, analysts, accountants, technicians, etc.
Right-Side Brain Lateralization
The right-side of the brain is more commonly associated with the "softer" side of life. It’s the emotional and "feeling" side of the brain. This includes intuition, sensitivity, feelings, humor, daydreaming, visualization, creativity, color, learning by experience, impulsiveness, etc. The right side learns by experiencing things.
The right side of the brain controls the left side of your body. Scientific researchers have noticed that the right hemisphere is better than the left when reading facial expressions, detecting nuances and tone of voice in speech and understanding the overall big picture when seeing, hearing and feeling things (unlike the left-side which focuses on details).
Many right-brain dominant people tend to be the more creative and emotional-type people such as artists, musicians, actors, writers, etc.
The next time you see a musician playing a guitar, notice which hand he uses to pluck the strings. More likely than not, he’ll use his his left hand...
The Effect of Brain Lateralization on
Your Brain Waves
I’m sure you know someone who’s so left-brain dominant that they seem so robotic or Dilbert-ish. Or it could be that they’re overly-right brain dominant that they seem to live in a world of their own.
The more one side of the brain is dominant, or the higher the degree of brain lateralization, the more "one-sided" we appear to be.
Quite obviously, I’m sure you can see why that an overly high degree of brain lateralization is not desirable. In fact, if you measure your brain waves, you’ll notice that the the brain waves generated by both sides of the brain are not the same.
Depending on the degree of brain lateralization, your brain waves will be slightly out-of-phase and not in sync with each other.
In addition, people with a high degree of brain lateralization also had very high frequency brain waves, above 32Hz, a high Beta brainwave state.
As I’ve discussed in my ebook (Click here to download), Beta Brain Waves are not a desirable state to be in.
Researchers also discovered that when we reduce the amount of brain lateralization, we also slow down the frequency of our brain waves accordingly.
As both sides of our brain synchronize and start to communicate more, our brain waves start to synchronize and come together. The difference in phase-shift reduces and the frequency of our brain waves also slows down to Alpha, Theta and perhaps even Delta.
ANOTHER INTERESTING FACT!
Did you know that your brain goes through 90-minute cycles where the brain tends towards one hemisphere, and then the other? This has a physical effect on our body, which can be seen.
Don’t believe me? Try this out.
Take note of which nostril you breathe out of. Few people ever notice it but at any point in time, they only breathe out of one nostril, either the left or right nostril.
If you have difficulties noticing which nostril is dominant, put your finger under both nostrils and breathe normally. You should be able to feel your breath on your finger.
Another way is to breathe normally and block one of your nostrils at the same time. Then try blocking the other nostril. You’ll feel much more comfortable breathing out of one side than the other.
How to Reduce Brain Lateralization
There are several ways to reduce brain lateralization (or increase brain synchronization or brain wave synchronization, as it’s more commonly called).
If you think about it, it’s actually not that difficult to synchronize your brainwaves. You already do it naturally.
Have you ever struggled or thought about a problem but the more you think or work at the problem, the harder it seems to find the solution? And the longer it takes to figure it out, the more agitated and stressed you get?
Then, after a break where you calm yourself down, have a coffee and relax, you go back to the problem and you find the solution quickly and finish up your work very quickly.
You’re so much more effective and efficient the 2nd time round, after you’ve taken a break away from the problem.
Well, that’s because when you’re trying to figure things out, your mind is going into Beta (7 to 14 Hz or higher) brainwaves. More specifically, the left side of your brain is going into overdrive trying to reason things out. (Remember that the left side of your brain is the analytical and logical side).
When you take a break, the left side of your brain no longer needs to work so hard and, at the same time, you’re slowing down your brainwaves. When this happens, the brainwave frequencies on both sides of your brain start to become more balanced.
In other words, your brain starts to become more synchronized.
So, you see, you unconsciously already know how to synchronize your brainwaves… : )
Researchers have discovered that meditation helps to balances both hemispheres of the brain, creating a more synchronized state between the two hemispheres. Besides meditation, I've also found the following mind-power techniques and self-help resources to be useful in brain wave synchronization.
These techniques are able to help you achieve the benefits of meditation almost immediately, short-cutting the many years traditional meditation takes to reach the same brainwave state. The Release Technique (Click here for Review)and the Silva Method (Click here for Review) teach you to slow down your brainwaves naturally, whilst Holosync (Click here for Review) uses a technique called brainwave entrainment or synchronization.
To learn more, check out the next article on Brainwave Synchronization.