What Is the Left Brain-Right Brain Theory?

The human brain comprises two hemispheres separated by a bundle of nerves. The left brain controls movement for the right side of the body, while the right brain directs the left side. Different neural regions are responsible for different functions, such as information processing, short-term and long-term memory storage, sensory-data collection, language ability, logical reasoning, and more. One widespread theory about the brain suggests that people who are left brain dominant are more quantitative and analytical, while right-brained individuals are more creative free spirits; however, there is no evidence to support these classifications. On the contrary, most behaviors and abilities require the right and left side of the brain to work together to achieve a common objective. Read on to discover more left brain-right brain facts and myths.  

Recent posts on Left Brain - Right Brain

Left Brain-Right Brain Study Debunks a Decades-Old Neuromyth

By Christopher Bergland on December 20, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
For the past five decades, neuroscientists assumed the left cerebral hemisphere was our brain's language domain. But now, cutting-edge research debunks this 20th-century neuromyth.

Good Mood, Bad Mood? Blame the Bacteria You Eat

By Richard E. Cytowic M.D. on December 15, 2017 in The Fallible Mind
The bacteria in our gut—one’s so-called microbiome—play a huge role in shaping our emotions. The brain in our head is in constant contact with the one in our guts.

Jeremy Schmahmann Untangles the Perplexity of Our Cerebellum

By Christopher Bergland on December 04, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
Jeremy Schmahmann of Harvard Medical School has developed readily available ways to test abnormalities of the cerebellum without detailed neuropsychological laboratory testing.
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Split-Brain Researchers Are Split

By Michael Corballis Ph.D. on November 20, 2017 in The Recursive Mind
Is the split brain really split?

A Pretty Good Organizing System for Non-Linear Thinkers

By Nancy Darling Ph.D. on November 15, 2017 in Thinking About Kids
Non-linear thinkers are great at connecting ideas. This organizing system helps harvest non-linear connections and tame the chaos.

Right Brain and Left Brain Share Duties On "As Needed" Basis

By Christopher Bergland on September 17, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
Growing evidence debunks the myth of creativity being seated in the "right brain." A new Duke study illuminates how the left brain and right brain can share duties when necessary.

Highly Creative People Have Well-Connected Brain Hemispheres

By Christopher Bergland on February 21, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
People who are highly creative have better connectivity between the left and right brain hemispheres, according to a new study by a team of international researchers.

Breaking Up is Hard to Do: the Right and Left Brain

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on January 10, 2017 in A Sideways View
Are some people really left or right brained as they are left or right handed? Have we taken this idea too far? Does neuro-science in any way support any of these ideas?

Your Left Cerebellar Hemisphere May Play a Role in Cognition

By Christopher Bergland on September 17, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Traditionally, the cerebellum has been considered a "non-thinking" part of our brain. However, a new study reports that specific cerebellar brain regions are involved in cognition.

What is Different in the Bilingual Brain?

Recent research has shown that the bilingual brain uses the same neural structures and resources as the monolingual brain but in different ways. A specialist explains.

The Truth About Being Left-Brained or Right-Brained

By Daniel Voyer Ph.D. on May 28, 2015 in Perceptual Asymmetries
...and should you care?

Left Brain, Right Brain: Two Sides, Always Working Together

Despite the pop-culture myth, the left and right aides of the brain always work together. No one is truly "left-brained" or "right-brained"—not either "analytical" or "intuitive."

Left Brain, Right Brain? Wrong

Scientists have long known there is no solid basis for the belief that people are either "left brain" or "right brain,” based on their neuroanatomy. Where did the story begin?

The “Right Brain” Is Not the Only Source of Creativity

By Christopher Bergland on September 17, 2013 in The Athlete's Way
Researchers from Dartmouth College have just debunked the myth that the right brain alone is the origin of creativity and imagination.

Myths About Our Right and Left Brains

By Robert Klitzman M.D. on January 07, 2013 in Am I My Genes?
Jill Bolte Taylor's TED talk, My Stroke of Insight, has attracted over 10 million viewers, but she argues that to reach Nirvana, we should simply turn off the left hemisphere.

Why the Left-Brain Right-Brain Myth Will Probably Never Die

By Christian Jarrett Ph.D on June 27, 2012 in Brain Myths
The left-brain right-brain myth will probably never die, because it has become a powerful metaphor for different ways of thinking.
New Insights on the Creative Brain

New Insights on the Creative Brain

Creative ideas are like a fragile bud—they've got to be nurtured so they can blossom.