Friday, September 26, 2008

Is there a middle brain?......मेंदूच्या मद्ध्यावर ......

Despite Aristotle, who did his best to run down the brain, by making statements like it was used just to cool the blood, and that all muscles were really managed by the heart, and the heart and not the brain was the seat of the soul etc etc, some other folks prevailed, and the current most popular thing about brains, is to talk about how the left-brain or right-brain is dominant in various folks.

How to we find out ? the following characteristics serve as a guide

Right brain : uses feeling ,"big picture" oriented ,imagination rules ,symbols and images ,present and future ,philosophy & religion ,can "get it" (i.e. meaning) ,believes ,appreciates ,spatial perception ,knows object function ,fantasy based ,presents possibilities ,impetuous ,risk taking.

Left brain : uses logic ,detail oriented ,facts rule ,words and language ,present and past , math and science ,can comprehend ,knowing ,acknowledges order/pattern perception ,knows object name ,reality based, forms strategies ,practical ,safe.

It has occurred to , what i might call my backward brain (since I can't decide on the rightness or leftness of it, and going forwards, will make me exit through the eyes maybe), that a collection of highly lefty or righty people might orient entire countries a particular way.

Like in India its a peculiar situation.

By sheer virtue of size of the
population, and percentage of population below , say 35, we are faced with an entire generation of left brain types. Cream of our youth, graduates of places which are now a brand, strutting around with laptops, blackberries, overflowing intelligence quotients, sadly lacking emotional quotients. Analyzing and recognizing patterns and signals, electronic and verbal, sometimes non-verbal too. Obsessed with detail. Planning, theorizing,proving. Integrating society and differentiating their status , away to glory, as they climb higher and higher in the mountainous regions of their life. There are of course some exceptions, who are rightly leftbrained, and adorn the fine arts and performing arts spectrum of our country. Some very imaginative business and industry folks.

If you look at those who rule, they possibly have a "right" to be, what else, but rightbrained. They are always looking at the picture, particularly when the audio consists of jingles of the monetary kind. Big pictures costing bigger bucks, with bigger cuts going to massive pockets. And what do you say about these masters of dynamically changeable symbols and images, where everyone spouts religion and philosophy. The former for the hoi-polloi and the latter for their donors. There are dreams outlined for the future, lots of fantasy directed at those too leftbrained to imagine things. They are always taking risks, being advised, no doubt by leftbrained calculating advisors. They use feelings very well, and impetuously announce things, looking at the big picture, every 5 years.

The interesting thing to note , is the part played in this by two people called Mr Broca and Mr Wernicke, God bless their souls. Both have been immortalized by having places in the left brain (97% of the time) , named after them. These areas of the brain have a lot to do with the ability to speak and articulate.

But notice , that these two gentlemen were around a long time ago. Neuroplasticity of the brain is today a reality.Maybe the human being is evolving. Maybe Mr Broca and Mr Wernicke , cannot have reserved places any more.

A little shift in one direction, and you have changed your party from left to right.

Rings a bell ? Notice the onslaught of speeches around you by all the right brained worthies? More so, as elections loom on the horizon ? They say that
intonation and accentuation, are often the responsibility of the right brain. No wonder.

Apparently the left and right brains are separated by a crossover area called Corpus Callosum.

Migrating from left to right, strengthening their jingling Corpus (funds) in a very mean and callous way, and maybe, sometimes sitting midway on the fence , a la Corpus Callosum.....

Whoever decided on names in the brain must have been an Indian.


  1. Really really interesting thoughts on a brainy-thorny issue. I guess my left-right-middle brains are also all jumbled up (is upside-down possible?)

  2. I love this post. Since I am left handed I probably run backward from the right brained people. We are getting lots of right brained speeches here since elections are just around the corner!

  3. Yes, there is an onslaught of speeches. I don't trust a word of it, either. A puppet can give a speech prepared by another person, but does the puppet believe in the words? Sorry, politics is a sour subject to me. There goes my right brain.

    I remember taking the SAT test (mandatory in order to attend college). My scores were odd, from what my parents and teachers said. I scored highest in Language and Math. Typically it's one or the other that the student scores higher and lower in, but not both (whereas I scored lower in history and science).

    There was a magazine that once stated women have a stronger "crossover" than men. Hmm.

  4. I'm into right and left brain theories Suranga. I have a book by a woman called Betty Edwards 'Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain'. She uses exercises to get budding/would be artists to use the right side of the brain as it's regarded as the 'artistic' side. A few years ago I worked my way right through the book and for me, it worked!
    I think it very valuable if you can practise transferring from left to right and vice versa. Did you try the challenge in the Australian newspaper article at the end of your link? I was able to get the dancer to change the direction of her pirouette quite easily ...
    But then I've practised for my art and writing.
    June in Oz

  5. Left. Right. Left. Right.

    Thats how the marches go. It was many years later i learnt that it had something to do with the brain !

    When i heard somebody say that i was 'right brained' i thought he was talking size appropriateness !

    BTW, are these in any way connected to right wing and left wing politicos..?

  6. Sucharita : Thanks for suggesting another (upside down) orientation for the brain. I can think of several folks who might qualify :-)

    JudyThank you. Actually , I think you would be running away from leftbrain types, since your leftiness is controlled by your rightbrain. Am I right ? Or is it left ? :-)

    Aleta Why do I think we are all really doing OK till they started classifying us as left and right ? I suppose front and back was not an option, due to connotations of backward in the englisg language...

    June Thank you for the info about the book by Betty Edwards. I will be on the lookout for it, and sounds really interesting....

    Kavi Even these differently winged politicos are not consistent. So corpus callosum-y.....Most of them are fence sitters. Maybe its right if we left them alone.....

  7. I believe most of us are middle brain since we keep oscillating between right and left :) Nice read.

  8. It is very interesting for me to read this article. Thanks for it. I like such topics and everything connected to this matter. I definitely want to read more soon.

  9. Interesting story as for me. It would be great to read more about that theme.
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  10. I have a feeling that the left brain of that chipmunk called Aristotle was trying to blind the posterity from using theirs. Strangely, that is all people seem to be doing now. Wonder what impact it is going to have on evolution. Very interesting post, this.