Why is it necessary to develop both right and left hemispheres of the brain at the same time?
The human brain is a “commonwealth” of functionally asymmetric hemispheres – left and right ones; they are not mirror images of each other but necessary complement. In order to creatively interpret any problem both hemispheres are required: the left hemisphere, logical one, highlights the most important, key moments of every problem; and the right hemisphere, creative one, seizes it on the whole. Exactly the right hemisphere, due to its most essential function – insight, helps to understand the situation and formulate an idea, even a crazy one but often non-standard and correct.
Take a look at the conventional division of specialization areas of each hemisphere and you will see how the proper work of the right hemisphere is important for the formation and development of a creative person.
The left hemisphere
– is responsible for the logical and analytical thinking;
– analyzes the facts;
– processes the information sequentially step by step (sequential thinking);
– provides the processes of inductive reasoning (first, the process of analysis is performed, and then that of the synthesis);
– processes the verbal information; is responsible for language ability; controls language and the ability to read and write;
– remembers the verses, facts, names, dates, and their spelling;
– can only understand the literal meaning of the words that we hear or read;
– plans the future;
– controls the movements of the right half of the body;
– is responsible for music education, understanding of the meaning of music, distinction of the music rhythm;
– is responsible for mathematical abilities, work with numbers, formulas and tables;
– is responsible for planning.
The right hemisphere
– is responsible for creative thinking and spatial orientation, allows to orient on the terrain and make mosaic pictures and jigsaw puzzles;
– is responsible for intuition and intuitive evaluation;
– can process a lot of different information at a time; is able to perceive a problem on the whole, without the usage of analysis (parallel processing of information);
– implements the process of deductive reasoning (first the processes of synthesis are performed, then that of the analysis);
– processes the non-verbal information; processes information that is not expressed in words but in symbols and images;
– remembers images, faces, pictures, poses, voices; is able to perceive the set of features as a unit;
– is able to understand the metaphors and the results of someone else’s imagination, a sense of humor, perceives an emotional speech, tone of voice, intonation;
– orients in the present;
– controls the movements of the left half of the body;
– is responsible for the musical abilities, distinction of melodies, tempo and harmony in music;
– is responsible for imagination, fantasies and dreams, artistic creativity and the ability to the fine art;
– is responsible for the spontaneous, emotional reactions.
The described above specializations of the cerebral hemispheres are true for 95% of people including almost all right handers. It is more difficult to determine the specialization of the hemispheres in the left handers number of which is about 10%.
When hemispheres function properly and there is a balance maintained between them, this interaction is expressed in an ideal partnership, the result of which is an effective creative work of the brain. This is possible when both right and left hemispheres work, when the logical thinking is combined with intuition.
How to provide an effective interaction of the hemispheres and develop their abilities?
Paul Dennison, Ph.D., a founder of the doctrine “educational kinesiology” (a scientific study of human movements) and his wife Gail Dennison have found the tremendous opportunities of the natural physical movements that can be used for successful development and training of both a child and an adult. Their findings formed the basis of a program called “Brain Gym”. This program is a set of exercises that contribute to the development of hemispheric specialization and interhemispheric interaction.
“Brain Gym” is simple exercises easy to perform. If your child is too young to perform the exercises on his own, do them with his hands. Later when he gets older, he will learn the movements and will be able to do them by himself.
If your child is able to perform the movements, you have an opportunity to develop your brain together with your child.
A few exercises of the complex
1. Massage the pinnae
Massage the ear lobes, then the whole pinnae. At the end of the exercise rub the ears with the hands.
As quickly as possible move the fingers, connecting the ring finger alternately with the thumb, index, middle fingers, etc. Perform the movements toward the little finger and backward to the index finger. First, the exercise is done with each hand separately, then with both hands simultaneously.
Show your child three hand positions on the table surface, sequentially changing each other. The palm on the surface, hand clenched in a fist; side of the palm on the table surface; straightened hand on the table surface. Do 8-10 repetitions with the hands of young babies; the older child performs the movements together with you, then 8 – 10 repetitions of the movements on his own from memory. First do the movements with one hand, then – with another one, then – with both hands at a time. When performing the movements you should say “fist – edge – palm” for it to be easier for the child do the exercise, to learn the sequence and to learn the body parts.
4. Ear – nose
Take the tip of the nose with the left hand, and the opposite ear with the right hand. Release the ear and nose at the same time, clap the hands. Change the position of the hands and repeat the exercise.
5. Mirror drawing
Put a clean sheet of paper on the table. Take a pencil or a felt-tip pen in each hand. Start drawing symmetrical drawings, letters with both hands at the same time. When performing this exercise the eyes and hands will relax. When the activity of the both hemispheres is synchronized, the efficiency of the whole brain work will significantly increase.
If you decided to perform the exercises with the child, you need to do them systematically to train the certain functions of the brain. Try – the results will not keep you waiting for a long time! Thus, the practice of this method in elementary school has shown that the systematic performance of kinesiology exercises resulted in the children’s improved memory, attention, language, spatial concepts, fine and gross motor skills, decreased fatigue, increased ability to arbitrary control.
And finally, a little advice
Most of us perform the daily physical activities with a comfortable hand. Try it yourself and ask your child to brush the teeth, comb hair, take the items, draw and even write with the other hand. Studies show that the performance of the usual actions with an “uncomfortable” hand activates the new parts of the brain and helps to develop new contacts between the brain cells. So try and experiment. This is not only useful, but also lots of fun!