Left Brain and Right Brain


Left-Brain and Right-Brain


Sperry’s Split Brain Theory

The concept of left-brain and right-brain thinking originated in the late 1960s from the research of Roger W Sperry. Sperry developed what is known as the Split Brain Theory. His Split Brain Theory divides the brain into two hemispheres; right and left. His research found that each hemisphere is specialized for specific behaviors and controls different types of thinking.

Based on his research, Sperry found that the left side of the brain tends to control many aspects of language and logic, while the right side tends to control spatial information and visual comprehension.



New Research

Since Sperry’s original research, many other studies have shown that the brain is not nearly as divided and separate as Sperry thought. Research has since shown that the two sides of the brain collaborate to perform a variety of tasks and that the two sides communicate constantly. Research has also shown that a person’s abilities are strongest when both halves of the brain work together.


The Value of the Left-Brain and Right-Brain Theory

Although the research has shown that there is not the extreme differential as first thought, there is still value in understanding that people have certain preferences. These preferences are often based on a person’s brain dominance. People are typically more comfortable with a specific way of thinking. One person may want to hear directions, while another may want to have them written or drawn on a piece of paper. So, even though the Split Brain Theory has slowly been debunked over the years, it is still true that people have preferences. Therefore, there is still value in understanding the underlying theory.



Left-Brain or Right-Brain Dominance

According to the theory of left-brain or right-brain dominance, each side of the brain controls different types of thinking. It is thought that people prefer one type of thinking over the other. For example, a person who is “left-brained” is thought to be more logical, analytical, and objective. A person who is “right-brained” is said to be more intuitive, creative, emotional, thoughtful, and subjective.




Below is a list of the attributes associated with each hemisphere of the brain.


Left-Brain and Right-Brain Chart

Linear Holistic
Looks at parts Looks at wholes
Logical Intuitive
Critical Thinking Creative Thinking
Sequential Random
Sequence Imagination
Systematic Casual
Verbal Nonverbal
Factual Visual
Words Images
Lists Dimension
Digital Spatial
Symbolic Concrete
Analysis Daydreaming
Reality-Based Fantasy-Oriented
Analytic Synthetic
Abstract Sensory
Rational Emotional
Objective Subjective
Black & White Color
Convergent Divergent
Numbers Rhythm
Pattern User Pattern Seeker



Additional Learning Styles

4MAT Learning Style Model

Gregorc mind styles model

Kolb Learning Style Model

VAK Learning Preference

Honey Mumford Learning Style

Felder-Silverman Learning Style

Herrmann’s Brain Dominance HBDI

Left-brain and Right-brain Preferences

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator MBTI


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