Q:

What are the functions of the left and right brain?

A:

Quick Answer

The left brain controls the muscles on the right side of the body, and the right brain controls the muscles on the left side of the body. The right brain-left brain theory states those who identify as right-brain thinkers are expressive and creative, while left-brain thinkers excel in logic, analytical thinking and language, states About.com.

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Full Answer

Through the work of Roger W. Sperry in 1981, the right brain-left brain theory originated during studies on patients who suffered strokes. Patients experiencing strokes on the right side of the body had damage to the left side of the brain, and those with diminished function on the left side of the body had injuries on the right side of the brain. Although the treatment involved separating the two halves of the brain, studies show that both halves work best when they work together, communicating through the corpus collosum, according to About.com.

Through the right brain-left brain theory, people with certain skill sets identify as either right- or left-brain thinkers. Skills associated with the right-brain dominance theory include music, intuition and creativity. Those skills associated with left-brain dominance theory include reasoning and dealing with numbers, according to About.com.

Though proven a myth through scientific research, the right brain-left brain theory permeates popular culture through self-help articles, popular psychology theories and quizzes online. Many are unaware that the right brain-left brain theory is a myth, according to About.com.

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