Monday, March 28, 2011

Left vs Right Brain - Whitley's Article

The video that Whitley provided us with was about the right and left hemispheres of the brain, and how they differ cognitively from one another. A man who once suffered from seizures on a daily basis was subjected to the surgical separation of his hemispheres from communicating with one another. This resulted in leaving the man with 'two brains'. It doesn't seem all that remarkable at first, since we all have right and left brains in our heads, but the series of experiments show that both hemispheres operate very differently, and without the communication, one half of a person's senses is severely impaired.

I love medical sciences. I watched this video, very interested, and I found the results of these experiments to be extremely interesting. I was already aware of the fact that the right brain  is pictorially oriented while the left is detail and logic oriented. However, when both were incapable of communicating with one another, their differences became far clearer. The right brain couldn't see the text--it saw what the text represented. Meanwhile, the left brain could read the text, but if he were asked to draw it without hearing himself say it, would he be able to do so, or would he re-write the word? They didn't have him try that one, but I was curious to find out. 

Question time.~

1. I guess...It would start in my left brain, a concept, then spoken aloud would be imagined by the right brain, then drawn out by my left hand {fortunately I can kind of write with both, but it didn't look like it mattered to the man in the experiment} so that my left half could try to make out what elements would better convey the concept if something doesn't appear to work. I...don't know if that'd really work though. According to the man in the experiment, he doesn't feel different at all. He doesn't feel impaired, but he's just this guy who works at an egg carting factory and he's not an artist. I wonder if there is one with the same condition? Maybe he/she would know. Or maybe the reason why there might not be one would be the impossibility of such a thing--an artist with the communication between brains being severed.

2. Probably. I tried to make sense of what I would do if it were me, but I'm not sure it would work out. I don't know the 'rules'. This doesn't happen to every other person, and I certainly don't know of an artist with this condition. We do rely on both to come up with concepts and execute them. We have both images and messages we intend to send through our work. Even pure eye-candy has its logic. 

3. Images come first, speech second. I imagine that is why it was hard for me to take on Spanish even when I was raised by a hispanic family. I didn't know what they were talking about unless they were pointing at it, calling someone by name, or holding it in their hand. Plus, I like to think of impressive, chaotic, and ironic things, and they always hit me as an image at first.

4. It probably wouldn't have text, or I'd put text in there that wouldn't say anything just for the aesthetic quality o the text. My work would be heavy in images, rich with what I'd like to say but am incapable of saying.

5.  I usually do. I know everyone's different, especially in the way they think. My dad's side of the family has always been highly-rational and left-brain oriented while my mom's side is a little of both leaning to right. I feel like I'm leaning far right, but my left side ain't dead, it's just not easily entertained. I try to respect intellectual work by taking on a different point of view, but it doesn't come as naturally to me as suddenly appreciating something that looks very cool. But I do try. I know I ought to.

I can't imagine making my art in the absence of either one of my brains, but I let my right brain run free where my left brain mostly barges in to keep the piece going in the proper direction. They really balance each other out in the end, as I'm sure they're meant to do, but you can sometimes tell which one is more dominant, and I'm sure that title goes to the right. I prefer what looks better to whatever sounds better. Logic only seems to bring up a basis for argument which I want little to do with. 

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