The human brain is an amazing thing, with pathways, connections and abilities unrivaled by any other brain or technology. As we learn our brain is constantly creating new connections, expanding and increasing our knowledge and ability to recall what we learn.
Science learns more every year about how our brain works, and which part of our brains do what. Did you know that the left side of your brain tends to make decisions for you?
Two Sides of the Brain
The brain is the most powerful computer in the world. It has over 100 billion neurons and about a quadrillion (that is one million billion) synapses connecting parts of the brain together. Amazing. As scientists continue to study the brain they find that it is even more complicated and amazing than they previously thought.
In fact, while scientists previously thought that the dendrites which run throughout the brain were simply like wires connecting things together they are learning that they may actually have processing power themselves.
The Left Side of the Brain
Each side of the brain tends to have areas that it specializes in to some extent. Language tends to center in the left side of the brain along with logic, such as the ability to do certain mathematical computations.
While creativity, abilities such as musical talent and drawing, tends to occur more in the right, as well as facial recognition and some special calculating (Melina, 2011). Some people believe that the left side allows you to think more quickly and provides fast responses and is responsible for making quick decisions.
We also know that the brain and body are “cross wired”. This means that the left side of the brain controls things on the right side of the body. For example, if a person has damage to a certain part of their brain, on the right side, they might lose vision in their left eye or lose hearing in their left ear – the body is cross wired.
But some people take these ideas of different sides to the brain a bit too far, giving one side of the brain credit for everything in a certain area and the other side credit in another entire area. For example, some people believe that if they are creative that they are right brain dominant, or if they are great with math equations then they must be left brain dominant.
While certainly people can have specific personality types, and those my seem to correspond to certain things that are ruled by that side of the brain, there is no evidence to show that in people of a certain personality one side is generally more active than the other.
Of course, if you feel that the left side of your brain is falling a bit short, you can consider bulk supplements, such as a multi-vitamin which has been clinically proven to improve recall and brain function. CoQ10 and Omega-3 are also great brain boosters that you can take every day.
While science knows that there are different parts of our knowledge, personality, behaviors and emotions that are generated or stored in certain parts of the brain, recently science has disproved one theory, that is that each person is dominated by one side of their brain. This theory, called left brain dominance theory, was all the rage in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, but recently has been disproved..
MRIs conducted during a recent study of over a thousand people of all ages found that while certain activities might center more on one side of the brain than the other, an individual person is not primarily left or right brained.
Using Your Brain Better
So how does knowing which side of your brain does what help your brain to work better? Well, this information is very interesting to even the average person. And to scientists this knowledge helps to build a foundational understanding of how the brain works, providing a platform from which to conduct future studies and learn more.
However, to the average person who simply wants to make their brain work better, who wants to accomplish more in their job, and who wants to live a better life, understanding the left and right brain means little.
How to get the most out of your amazing brain
Exercise your brain
Like any muscle the brain needs to be exercised; if you don’t use it then you lose it. For example, studies have shown that laboratory rats that have no mental stimulation (for example, not toys in their cage and no form of enrichment) have fewer wrinkles and connections in their brain than rats who were more entertained and enriched. So exercise your brain; use it or lose it.
Keep your brain healthy
Keep your brain healthy with a good diet and proper nutrition. Things like Omega-3, DHA and more help your brain work better. Exercise is also important because it keeps your blood sugar, blood pressure, and hormones at their best and keeps your brain healthy.
Create more connections
The more connections you make in your brain the more you will learn and the more you will recall. Learn something every day – read a book, play Scrabble, have conversations about world events.
Engage both sides of your brain and teach them to work together
By mixing activities that are both logical and creative you can get your brain sides to work together better, making those fast left brained decisions more effectively.