Left Brain vs Right Brain
But regardless of the techniques you are interested in, it is anyway important to understand how a child develops to be able to help him; and more particularly what are the underlying processes which take place in the brain when someone is learning. Today we will focus on the two brain hemispheres, their differences and their functions: understanding how they work is important so you can be aware of the need to stimulate both of them equally in your child, and of the various ways to do that.
The brain is composed of two hemispheres: the right and the left. Each of these hemispheres has a distinct set of functions it controls. They don't act independantly, though: they are in constant communication through the part that connects them, the “corpus callosum”, sharing information they need to work together such as sensory perceptions.
Let's take a look at the functions of the hemispheres. First, they both control half the muscles in the body, but in a criss-cross pattern: the left hemisphere controls the right side of the body and vice versa. There is a lot more to it than muscles, though.
The left hemisphere takes care of most of the functions related to language. It processes sounds, and creates speech. It is in charge of our logical thinking abilities, of our math skills, but also of our memory, allowing us to retrieve facts when we need them.
The right hemisphere focuses on spatial abilities, it allows you to recognize faces and to process music. It is the part that is in charge of making sense of the information your eyes send you, and of understanding subtle details, context, and a person's tone when they speak for example.
While some people say some of us are “left brained” and some of us are “right brained”, the truth is we all use both parts of our brains, and both are essential to our daily lives! That's why it is important to try to encourage the equal development of both hemispheres of the brain in your child, and thus to offer him or her diverse activities which stimulate both the logical, mathematical left hemisphere, and the artistic, symbolic right hemisphere.
Moona Journal Author