||The brain is a lot
like an orchestra; you can listen to the sound of each musician indepedently,
but you won't get the full effect. To really understand the brain we have
to understand how it functions as a whole. We'll look at some functions
that require the left and right hemispheres of the brain to work together.
Opening a Locker
If you have lockers at your school, you know that the first time you try
to open your locker it can be a little difficult. Here are the steps opening
your locker entails.
Reading a Book (and taking notes)
- Information about what number the locker
is on recieved through your eyes and processed in the visual cortex.
- The memory of what number the locker
dial needs to be turned to is called up.
- A message is sent to your motor cortex
to make the hand rotate the locker dial.
- Your left brain, which deals with numbers,
alerts the motor cortex to stop moving once the dial is on the right
- The steps are repeated for each other
- Information is recieved through the visual
cortex about what is on the page.
- Letters are seen as symbols by the right
hemisphere, translated into letters and the information is sent to the
- Those letters are translated into words
by the left hemisphere of the brain.
- The words are strung into sentences by
the left hemisphere.
- The left brain decides which part of
the information is the most important and what will be written down.
- The left brain sends the message of what
letters to write to the right brain.
- If you are right handed, information
will be sent to the motor cortex in the left hemisphere about how to
write the notes. The opposite will occur for lefties.
As you can see, the brain requires many
complicated processes to do even simple jobs.
How does the human
brain create language?
What are functions that use both side of the
How are memories created?
Roger W. Sperry won a Nobel prize for
discovering the functions of the left and right brain by researching
people who had damage to the corpus callosum, the part of the brain
that connects the two hemispheres.