Essay on Left vs. Right Brain

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Left vs. Right Brain

The idea that the left and right sides of the brain can control many different aspects of behavior in different categories is an interesting one. Four websites which consider this concept are Neuro Pearls, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association website, Left vs. Right Brain Modes, and SPLITTING THE HUMAN BRAIN.

In Left Vs. Right Brain Modes, a direct comparison is presented in several categories. The left hemisphere is described as verbal, analytical, logical. The right hemisphere is nonverbal (responding to touch and music), intuitive, and sensory. In some ways the descriptions fit with the "left- handed artist" stereotype, such as the left hemisphere being factual, and the right brain responsive to
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The presence of the language function in either hemisphere can be determined using the Wada test, in which a barbiturate is injected into an internal carotid artery and the effects upon language are observed.

It is still unknown why handedness and language dominance are related in the brain, or why language is not bilateral.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)s website contains the article "Language: Left Brain? Right Brain? Both?" which describes the history of discovering the two hemispheres have different duties to the body, especially in terms of handedness and speech. Damage to the left side of the brain in most of Dr. Marc Dax's patients caused a loss of speech (1836). After his death, many more similar reports were recorded.

Much later, the right hemisphere was found to control essential functions as well. Since the effects of right hemisphere damage are more subtle, as seen in the first website, this conclusion took much longer to reach. For example, a loss of speech would not be apparent, but instead irrelevant and rambling speech would be observed.

It is concluded from this site that both hemispheres are needed for a normal use of language, and to categorize the two hemispheres (as was done in the first website) would be gross oversimplification.

Paul Pietsch's SPLITTING THE
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