Right brain vs. left brain
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Thread: Right brain vs. left brain

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    Right brain vs. left brain

    In the last year to year and a half, I have read a lot of classified ads which ask for a "Talented designer with knowledge of java, asp, javascript, PERL, actionscript, etc." In other words, this employer is looking for a candidate who can perform equally well with both sides of their brain. The right brain is usually considered the creative side and the left is more math & logic skills. This made me wonder: What percentage of the population can actually perform on this level?

    I have no scientific data to back up my theory but I believe that which side of the brain people favor is loosely related to which hand people favor. Whether you are right handed or left handed, if you try to use the opposite hand for things like writing, signing your name or doing delicate precise tasks, chances are it won't turn out so well. The percentage of the population that can use their right & left hands equally is about 10%. This fact I actually looked up.

    A temporary placement agent who specializes in the creative field told me that he believes that the percentage of people who can claim to be equally good at the artistic problem solving of design and the logic-based problem solving of programming is about 3%. Again this is not based on science but rather his observation. Most applicants who told him they could do both tasks fell far short of their claims in one of the areas when he sent them on an assignment.

    So here is my question. Is it reasonable for an employer to expect an applicant to perform both the creative and programming aspects of interactice media? Or are these employers just being cheapscates expecting one person to do the work of a team?

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    I think they just want a technical person but put the word designer so it seems more interesting. Often , when you read the task description, the art side is to be able to resize images in photoshop.

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    they are cheapskating, imo, if they pay a person the same scale but expect professional performance with both halves of his or her greyware, as you put it.

    i must be in your temper's 3% 'cause i've been drawing, painting and programming since i could hold the tools or there were PCs available (i'm talkin' when 64K RAM was cutting edge. that's right, KILObytes). i now do both game content creation and scripting (Unreal engine), not a superstar at either but more than just competent, and have written full-blown plugins and graphics apps for the Mac (pre OSX) for personal use. i would expect better compensation for a position that would heavily utilize both these skill pools on a regular basis.

    however, there's a big diff in my mind between "knowledge of" and "capable of reasonably advanced practical programming with" the languages you cite. if being familiar enough with coding to recognize its part in the design and production process and to facilitate communication with the production coders, is what is actually required, then a pay boost isn't warranted. it's just good BG knowledge that will help the workflow.

    from my experience, it would be unlikely that both good quality concept art dev and good quality production-level coding could be done by a single person during a realtime production cycle -- they are both very time-intensive and there's little direct crossover in skills, so the tasks don't heterodyne worth a damn. the key word, though, is "quality."

    it would also be a way to burn out your employees in very short order.

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    Both sides of my brain are crap. I have a horrible visual memory and the only way I can remember things is in words so I break down images into information I can work with. I'm right handed but I use my left hand a lot now for the base sketch because it's much easier to see the image and focus on tracing it. I also don't need a ton of control with my left hand because I go slow and trace the image projected onto the page. I bet a lot of people are good with both sides of their brain if they work on it.

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    One of my old colleagues was our resident web designer (DJ'ed partime also). Pretty damn good at what he did and fit the description of "Talented designer with knowledge of java, asp, javascript, PERL, actionscript, etc." However, it was mainly scripting he was doing, a lot of cut and paste, knowing what the code did and how to use it as opposed to hacking it out from scratch. A book on .ASP resided on his desk along with a fair number of bookmarks to online help sites.

    For raw coding, he was dependent on another friend (who also happened to play in the uni's orchestra) who literally learned web based scripting and SQL from books. Graduated as a music major but moved instantly into a high paying programming job.

    Of course, on the other hand, most of my current colleagues live and breathe C++ and VB, but prolly couldn't lift a pencil to save their lives.

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    machzero raises a good point about the difference between gut-level programming with C++ or VB, and the various kinds of scripting, which are a layer or two higher in the programming "hierarchy" and generally much easier to wing it with. scripting languages have so many common features, learning one makes most all of them more accessible. still, any scripting or coding that is wholly original, rather than adaptive (the cut & paste from a web-based library type stuff), requires a lot of time for writing and debugging if an employer is expecting robust code that won't break the first time a user shakes the box. doing that and cranking out worthwhile concept art -- that should be worth hazard pay.

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    I recall reading that 19th century doctors realized that the right side of the brain controlled the left hand and was also the creative side of the brain. From this information, they postulated that left-handed artists would be more creative. Obviously, the data did not support this theory, so relating various levels of ambidextrity to creativity or artistic skill isn't cut and dried.
    I am not very good with my left hand (well, not with a pencil, anyway), but I am an engineering graduate and I draw.

    I think the number of folks who work both sides well might be rare, but there's nothing wrong with a company looking for these skills in one package. They should be able to draw a much higher price, though. It's economics: the company generally gets what they're willing to pay for. Even if they doubled the salary, it would cost less than highering two people, taking benefits into consideration.

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    oh yeah... i've a somewhat similiar background with dogfood, and I doodle... sorta... and my left hand is near useless except for driving and typing, and my motor skills over the right hand isn't anything to shout about either. But I occasionally need to hack out a piece of real code at work, but stuff like visual is after my time.

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    My obsevation about this is left handed people are less structured, more lunatic ,make weird conection whit think and event. Right people look more structured in they life, they are more metodic,they gona use the right tool for the job, left handed people ganna try whit other things. Anyway IT just a observation, i can be totally wrong, it just what i feel about left and right handed.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramzeal
    My obsevation about this is left handed people are less structured, more lunatic ,make weird conection whit think and event.
    Well, I'm right-handed and fit the random, lunatic, weird connection points (as many here may be able to testify).

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    I'm not sure anyone has ever made a convincing connection between "handedness" and ability. If anyone knows of a study that pulled in some real data on this point, that would be interesting. Speaking personally, I'm very right-handed, more creative than technical in my background, but a pretty balanced "logical" thinker.

    I have to agree with qitsune... when you see an ad like that, it often means they want a tech person that has basic photoshop or flash skills... and don't want to compromise their trendy design firm's image.

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    You use both sides of the brain when you draw. Drawing is not entirely creative, especially when you're observing from life. It's very methodical and logical from there as you observe where each muscle is placed and why.

    Giving a figure a light source is very logical as well...you have to think about shapes and consider how much light will fall on each.

    art is not solely in the right brain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dogfood
    Well, I'm right-handed and fit the random, lunatic, weird connection points (as many here may be able to testify).
    yeas true, any body can fit this achetype, it just tha i know a lot of left handed people fitiing in this mold than right handed people. but if you take like all the left handed, 80% exemple gonna fit , and maybe 20% of the right handed (fictif numbers). But it just a observation, there nothing scientific in my point. it just my point, i may be wrong, dunno...

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    Didnt they prove all this left vs right brain thing to be baloni ? What I had heard is that it does work this way for limbs and movement, but it doesnt have much to do with concious thought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dogfood
    ...but there's nothing wrong with a company looking for these skills in one package. They should be able to draw a much higher price, though. It's economics: the company generally gets what they're willing to pay for. Even if they doubled the salary, it would cost less than highering two people, taking benefits into consideration.
    I have to go along with Masque here. No matter how talented the individual may be, these employers are asking 1 individual to do the work of 2 full-time employees. Unless the employer is offering a staff that the candidate can delegate some of the work to, or will be part of a team, that's a lot to put on one person's plate. If the employer is truly a cheapskate, I think it's a good bet that their new employee would not be able to rely on much help. After 3-4 months of staying late and working weekends, burnout would be a sure bet.

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    "Talented designer with knowledge of java, asp, javascript, PERL, actionscript, etc."

    Guys Design is in a new era, there are tonnes of designers out there with knowledge of these things... especially actionscript, javascript, and asp. Design is solving solutions, design isnt necessarly art, My dad is a graphic designer with more than 30 years experience, about 10% of his workload is creative and 90% is tedious tasks like clipping paths and placing images and text correctly on pages. Ok someone who is artisticly talented will produce nicer looking design, but design in it self uses both sides (even though im sure this left vs right is absolute baloni as far as concious thought goes) because good design has to be functional, and thats what these extra requirments are needed for.

    There absolutley nothing wrong with this, and just because you think there are two elements to his job doesnt mean he will be doing double the work.. I mean I work in a petrol station ok so its a much simpler job but I pump petrol and then stack shelfs... I dont work longer hours than someone working in a shop just stacking shelfs.

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    you have some good points Tobin, but a lot depends on the specific industry a "designer" would be seeking work in. in GD, yes, the technical/mechanical is important, but that does not/should not include the ability to write plugins for Photoshop, let's say. for web pages, sure, scripting is a major plus, even a given. in game- and/or movie-oriented concept dev, asking an artist trying to crank out double-handsful of art a day to tweak a website or troubleshoot game code is just asking for a downward slope in the QC curve.

    imo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dogfood
    Well, I'm right-handed and fit the random, lunatic, weird connection points (as many here may be able to testify).
    ditto.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobin
    There absolutley nothing wrong with this, and just because you think there are two elements to his job doesnt mean he will be doing double the work.. I mean I work in a petrol station ok so its a much simpler job but I pump petrol and then stack shelfs... I dont work longer hours than someone working in a shop just stacking shelfs.
    Exactly.

    Smaller companies can't hire a specialized person for every job, so it's much more economical for them to hire people with a wider range of skills (even if they're not as good in any of those skills as a specialist would be).



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    Quote Originally Posted by masque
    you have some good points Tobin, but a lot depends on the specific industry a "designer" would be seeking work in. in GD, yes, the technical/mechanical is important, but that does not/should not include the ability to write plugins for Photoshop, let's say. for web pages, sure, scripting is a major plus, even a given. in game- and/or movie-oriented concept dev, asking an artist trying to crank out double-handsful of art a day to tweak a website or troubleshoot game code is just asking for a downward slope in the QC curve.

    imo.

    Your right, a concept designer is much different to a graphic designer... but i bet if you enquire into those ad's they are nearly all for graphic designers, or that the ad just wants a basic knowledge so that file types for models or knowing how many images you'll need for a script doesn't become an issue.

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    I believe that it is all applicable to the same. I work for a large aerospace company in software development with a good base in c shell, perl, VBcode, Sequel and I also used to do freelance graphic design where I needed to know Java, Actionscript and the likes, yet I also produce conceptual art, commercial art and do freestyle painting.

    I agree with Tobin. Design is problem solving. We all do it as artists. It is the single most afluent and cohesive attribute that all artists share. The need to perfect and improve upon the things we see. That requires calculation and developmental thinking. The process of scripting is basically the same as producing art. You start with a blank canvas, build the background or basic code, build the basic functions and perfect the processes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Azrael
    I agree with Tobin. Design is problem solving. We all do it as artists. It is the single most afluent and cohesive attribute that all artists share. The need to perfect and improve upon the things we see. That requires calculation and developmental thinking. The process of scripting is basically the same as producing art. You start with a blank canvas, build the background or basic code, build the basic functions and perfect the processes.
    I do agree that both illustration, graphic design and scripting/programming are all about problem solving. I also believe that all of those jobs require both right & left brain thinking. What I don't believe is that most people whether they come from the art or the programming side can move seamlessly from one to the other. Art & design leaves room for interpretation. There is room to fudge as long as you effectively communicate your idea. Unlike programming, if there is a problem in your visual design, you don't have to retrace every pencil line, every brushstroke, every placed graphic or copy block to figure out why it's broken.

    You may be among the 3% of the population that the temp agent I know believes is capable of doing both. His experience has been that most programmers who tell him that they are also graphic designers know shit about visual communication and those from the graphics side who claim to be programmers end up spending hours trying to tweak broken code that they can't get to work. I believe that the ratios of right to left brain skills are vastly different for artists and coders. Those who can develop both skills to an equal level are a rare breed.

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    I honestly think you're drawing a line across the brain thats not there. Extremely gifted artists dont find it anymore difficult to learn another language do they ? I know lots of artists that speak more than one.

    I really think alot of your opinion is based on your thoughts towards art and not on fact or evidence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by figure2
    Unlike programming, if there is a problem in your visual design, you don't have to retrace every pencil line, every brushstroke, every placed graphic or copy block to figure out why it's broken.
    don't know about everyone else, but my wastebins (real and virtual) have always been graced by what is known in some industries as "rip up and retry." graphics solutions (even by professionals) can totally suck, and no amount of twiggling and tweaking will un-suck 'em.

    likewise in coding/scripting, problem solving (debugging) need not mean retracing every step, it's very modular these days (object-oriented) to avoid just that issue. it would be impossible with a large commercial app to do that anyway, changes made in the deep-down base progamming could likely break a whole lot of stuff farther downstream. the whole concept of patches and updates is built on the idea that if it ain't broke, don't fix it, and if it is, slap a little plaster on it and the landlord won't notice.

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    ok this is very large I know, but hopefully it will dispell this left brain right brain myth ...


    if you are too lazy to read it, just read the first and last paragraph
    Left Brain, Right Brain: One More Time

    "Right brain versus left brain" is one of those popular ideas that will not die. Speculations about the educational significance of brain laterality have been circulating in the education literature for 30 years. Although repeatedly criticized and dismissed by psychologists and brain scientists, the speculation continues.6 David Sousa devotes a chapter of How the Brain Learns to explaining brain laterality and presents classroom strategies that teachers might use to ensure that both hemispheres are involved in learning.7 Following the standard line, the left hemisphere is the logical hemisphere, involved in speech, reading, and writing. It is the analytical hemisphere that evaluates factual material in a rational way and that understands the literal interpretation of words. It is a serial processor that tracks time and sequences and that recognizes words, letters, and numbers. The right hemisphere is the intuitive, creative hemisphere. It gathers information more from images than from words. It is a parallel processor well suited for pattern recognition and spatial reasoning. It is the hemisphere that recognizes faces, places, and objects.

    According to this traditional view of laterality, left-hemisphere-dominant individuals tend to be more verbal, more analytical, and better problem solvers. Females, we are told, are more likely than males to be left-hemisphere dominant. Right-hemisphere-dominant individuals, more typically males, paint and draw well, are good at math, and deal with the visual world more easily than with the verbal. Schools, Sousa points out, are overwhelmingly left-hemisphere places in which left-hemisphere-dominant individuals, mostly girls, feel more comfortable than right-hemisphere-dominant individuals, mostly boys. Hemispheric dominance also explains why girls are superior to boys in arithmetic -- it is linear and logical, and there is only one correct answer to each problem -- while girls suffer math anxiety when it comes to the right-hemisphere activities of algebra and geometry. These latter disciplines, unlike arithmetic, are holistic, relational, and spatial and also allow multiple solutions to problems.

    Before we consider how, or whether, brain science supports this traditional view, educators should be wary of claims about the educational significance of gender differences in brain laterality. There are tasks that psychologists have used in their studies that reveal gender-based differences in performance. Often, however, these differences are specific to a task. Although males are superior to females at mentally rotating objects, this seems to be the only spatial task for which psychologists have found such a difference.8 Moreover, when they do find gender differences, these differences tend to be very small. If they were measured on an I.Q.-like scale with a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15, these gender differences amount to around five points. Furthermore, the range of difference within genders is broad. Many males have better language skills than most females; many females have better spatial and mathematical skills than most males. The scientific consensus among psychologists and neuroscientists who conduct these studies is that whatever gender differences exist may have interesting consequences for the scientific study of the brain, but they have no practical or instructional consequences.9

    Now let's consider the brain sciences and how or whether they offer support for some of the particular teaching strategies Sousa recommends. To involve the right hemisphere in learning, Sousa writes, teachers should encourage students to generate and use mental imagery: "For most people, the left hemisphere specializes in coding information verbally while the right hemisphere codes information visually. Although teachers spend much time talking (and sometimes have their students talk) about the learning objective, little time is given to developing visual cues." To ensure that the left hemisphere gets equal time, teachers should let students "read, write, and compute often."10

    What brain scientists currently know about spatial reasoning and mental imagery provides counterexamples to such simplistic claims as these. Such claims arise out of a folk theory about brain laterality, not a neuroscientific one.

    Here are two simple spatial tasks: 1) determine whether one object is above or below another, and 2) determine whether two objects are more or less than one foot apart. Based on our folk theory of the brain, as spatial tasks both of these should be right-hemisphere tasks. However, if we delve a little deeper, as psychologists and neuroscientists tend to do, we see that the information-processing or computational demands of the two tasks are different.11 The first task requires that we place objects or parts of objects into broad categories -- up/down or left/right -- but we do not have to determine how far up or down (or left or right) one object is from the other. Psychologists call this categorical spatial reasoning. In contrast, the second task is a spatial coordinate task, in which we must compute and retain precise distance relations between the objects.

    Research over the last decade has shown that categorical and coordinate spatial reasoning are performed by distinct subsystems in the brain.12 A subsystem in the brain's left hemisphere performs categorical spatial reasoning. A subsystem in the brain's right hemisphere processes coordinate spatial relationships. Although the research does point to differences in the information-processing abilities and biases of the brain hemispheres, those differences are found at a finer level of analysis than "spatial reasoning." It makes no sense to claim that spatial reasoning is a right-hemisphere task.

    Based on research like this, Christopher Chabris and Stephen Kosslyn, leading researchers in the field of spatial reasoning and visual imagery, claim that any model of brain lateralization that assigns conglomerations of complex mental abilities, such as spatial reasoning, to one hemisphere or the other, as our folk theory does, is simply too crude to be scientifically or practically useful. Our folk theory can neither explain what the brain is doing nor generate useful predictions about where novel tasks might be computed in the brain.13 Unfortunately, it is just such a crude folk theory that brain-based educators rely on when framing their recommendations.

    Visual imagery is another example. From the traditional, folk-theoretic perspective, generating and using visual imagery is a right-hemisphere function. Generating and using visual imagery is a complex operation that involves, even at a crude level of analysis, at least five distinct mental subcomponents: 1) to create a visual image of a dog, you must transfer long-term visual memories into a temporary visual memory store; 2) to determine if your imagined dog has a tail, you must zoom in and identify details of the image; 3) to put a blue collar on the dog requires that you add a new element to your previously generated image; 4) to make the dog look the other way demands that you rotate your image of the dog; and 5) to draw or describe the imagined dog, you must scan the visual image with your mind's eye.

    There is an abundance of neuroscientific evidence that this complex task is not confined to the right hemisphere. There are patients with brain damage who can recognize visual objects and draw or describe visible objects normally, yet these patients cannot answer questions that require them to generate a mental image. ("Think of a dog. Does it have a long tail?") These patients have long-term visual memories, but they cannot use those memories to generate mental images. All these patients have damage to the rear portion of the left hemisphere.14

    Studies on split-brain patients, people who have had their two hemispheres surgically disconnected to treat severe epilepsy, allow scientists to present visual stimuli to one hemisphere but not the other. Michael Gazzaniga and Kosslyn showed split-brain patients a lower-case letter and then asked the patients whether the corresponding capital letter had any curved lines.15 The task required that the patients generate a mental image of the capital letter based on the lower-case letter they had seen. When the stimuli were presented to the patients' left hemispheres, they performed perfectly on the task. However, the patients made many mistakes when the letter stimuli were presented to the right hemisphere. Likewise, brain-imaging studies of normal adult subjects performing imagery tasks show that both hemispheres are active in these tasks.16 Based on all these data, brain scientists have concluded that the ability to generate visual imagery depends on the left hemisphere.

    One of the most accessible presentations of this research appears in Images of Mind, by Michael Posner and Mark Raichle, in which they conclude, "The common belief that creating mental imagery is a function of the right hemisphere is clearly false."17 Again, different brain areas are specialized for different tasks, but that specialization occurs at a finer level of analysis than "using visual imagery." Using visual imagery may be a useful learning strategy, but if it is useful it is not because it involves an otherwise underutilized right hemisphere in learning.

    The same problem also subverts claims that one hemisphere or the other is the site of number recognition or reading skills. Here is a simple number task, expressed in two apparently equivalent ways: What is bigger, two or five? What is bigger, 2 or 5? It involves recognizing number symbols and understanding what those symbols mean. According to our folk theory, this should be a left-hemisphere task. But once again our folk theory is too crude.

    Numerical comparison involves at least two mental subskills: identifying the number names and then comparing the numerical magnitudes that they designate. Although we seldom think of it, we are "bilingual" when it comes to numbers. We have number words -- e.g., one, two -- to name numbers, and we also have special written symbols, Arabic numerals -- e.g., 1, 2. Our numerical bilingualism means that the two comparison questions above place different computational demands on the mind/brain. Using brain-recording techniques, Stanislaus Dehaene found that we identify number words using a system in the brain's left hemisphere, but we identify Arabic numerals using brain areas in both the right and left hemispheres. Once we identify either the number words or the Arabic digits as symbols for numerical quantities, a distinct neural subsystem in the brain's right hemisphere compares magnitudes named by the two number symbols.18

    Even for such a simple number task as comparison, both hemispheres are involved. Thus it makes no neuroscientific sense to claim that the left hemisphere recognizes numbers. Brain areas are specialized, but at a much finer level than "recognizing numbers." This simple task is already too complex for our folk theory to handle. Forget about algebra and geometry.

    Similar research that analyzes speech and reading skills into their component processes also shows that reading is not simply a left-hemisphere task, as our folk theory suggests. Recognizing speech sounds, decoding written words, finding the meanings of words, constructing the gist of a written text, and making inferences as we read all rely on subsystems in both brain hemispheres.19

    There is another different, but equally misleading, interpretation of brain laterality that occurs in the literature of brain-based education. In Making Connections, Renate Caine and Geoffrey Caine are critical of traditional "brain dichotomizers" and warn that the brain does not lend itself to such simple explanations. In their view, the results of research on split brains and hemispheric specialization are inconclusive -- "both hemispheres are involved in all activities" -- a conclusion that would seem to be consistent with what we have seen in our brief review of spatial reasoning, visual imagery, number skills, and reading.

    However, following the folk theory, they do maintain that the left hemisphere processes parts and the right hemisphere processes wholes. In their interpretation, the educational significance of laterality research is that it shows that, within the brain, parts and wholes always interact. Laterality research thus provides scientific support for one of their principles of brain-based education: the brain processes parts and wholes simultaneously. Rather than number comparison or categorical spatial reasoning, the Caines provide a more global example: "Consider a poem, a play, a great novel, or a great work of philosophy. They all involve a sense of the 'wholeness' of things and a capacity to work with patterns, often in timeless ways. In other words, the 'left brain' processes are enriched and supported by 'right brain' processes."20

    For educators, the Caines see the two-brain doctrine as a "valuable metaphor that helps educators acknowledge two separate but simultaneous tendencies in the brain for organizing information. One is to reduce information to parts; the other is to perceive and work with it as a whole or a series of wholes."21 Effective brain-based educational strategies overlook neither parts nor wholes, but constantly attempt to provide opportunities in which students can make connections and integrate parts and wholes. Thus the Caines number among their examples of brain-based approaches whole-language instruction,22 integrated curricula, thematic teaching, and cooperative learning.23 Similarly, because we make connections best when new information is embedded in meaningful life events and in socially interactive situations, Lev Vygotsky's theory of social learning should also be highly brain compatible.24

    To the extent that one would want to view this as a metaphor, all I can say is that some of us find some metaphors more appealing than others. To the extent that this is supposed to be an attempt to ground educational principles in brain science, the aliens have just landed in Egypt.

    Where did things go awry? Although they claim that laterality research in the sense of hemispheric localization is inconclusive, the Caines do maintain the piece of our folk theory that attributes "whole" processing to the right hemisphere and "part" processing to the left hemisphere. Because the two hemispheres are connected in normal healthy brains, they conclude that the brain processes parts and wholes simultaneously. It certainly does -- although it probably is not the case that wholes and parts can be so neatly dichotomized. For example, in visual word decoding, the right hemisphere seems to read words letter by letter -- by looking at the parts -- while the left hemisphere recognizes entire words -- the visual word forms.25

    But again, the parts and wholes to which the brain is sensitive appear to occur at quite a fine-grained level of analysis -- categories versus coordinates, generating versus scanning visual images, identifying number words versus Arabic digits. The Caines' example of part/whole interactions -- the left-hemisphere comprehension of a text and the right-hemisphere appreciation of wholeness -- relates to such a highly complex task that involves so many parts and wholes at different levels of analysis that it is trivially true that the whole brain is involved. Thus their appeal to brain science suffers from the same problem Kosslyn identified in the attempts to use crude theories to understand the brain. The only brain categories that the Caines appeal to are parts and wholes. Then they attempt to understand learning and exceedingly complex tasks in terms of parts and wholes. This approach bothers neither to analyze the brain nor to analyze behaviors.

    The danger here is that one might think that there are brain-based reasons to adopt whole-language instruction, integrated curricula, or Vygotskian social learning. There are none. Whether or not these educational practices should be adopted must be determined on the basis of the impact they have on student learning. The evidence we now have on whole-language instruction is at best inconclusive, and the efficacy of social learning theory remains an open question. Brain science contributes no evidence, pro or con, for the brain-based strategies that the Caines espouse.

    The fundamental problem with the right-brain versus left-brain claims that one finds in the education literature is that they rely on our intuitions and folk theories about the brain, rather than on what brain science is actually able to tell us. Our folk theories are too crude and imprecise to have any scientific, predictive, or instructional value. What modern brain science is telling us -- and what brain-based educators fail to appreciate -- is that it makes no scientific sense to map gross, unanalyzed behaviors and skills -- reading, arithmetic, spatial reasoning -- onto one brain hemisphere or another.


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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobin
    ok this is very large I know, but hopefully it will dispell this left brain right brain myth ...
    Tobin,

    I read the 1st paragraph and a little bit more into it. Since that statement is not credited to any particular researcher or university I can only assume that it is someone's opinion and nothing more. Who published it and what is their background?

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    http://www.pdkintl.org/kappan/kbru9905.htm

    thats where i found it.

    I heard this years ago by the way, my brother studies science in college also, and he studied philosophy and psychology before, he told me that it's all gibberish too.

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    the article should've been linked to originally, Tobin, no need to post all that, seems a bit pushy. regardless, the thread isn't really about the reality of absolute brain laterality, but about whether better pay should be offered for jobs requiring a wider range of tasks. obviously each position would need to be evaluated on its own, but the biggest factors seem to be the type of designing being done, and at what level of production and/or quality the tasks are expected to be performed, not which side of your noggin is being used.

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    I didnt mean to come across as pushy, but the whole argument is based on this misconception.

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