Example Of Research Paper On Brain Lateralization
Type of paper: Research Paper
Topic: Brain, Hemisphere, Education, Information, Study, Strategy, Communication, Language
There are several emerging researches in neuroscience regarding how the brain functions. Some findings are incorporated into special and regular educations. Physiological and neuro-psychological studies of the human brain include the establishment of brain having left and right asymmetries. The study regarding brain lateralization has attained remarkable successes (Cohen, 232).
The theory of brain lateralization states that the left brain handles the logical part of thinking and these include analysis and language. The left side is also coupled with language construction and cognizant and logical contemplation (Cohen, 232). Individuals that are left-brained are said to be good problem solvers, logical and verbal. The right brain is believed to be responsible for intuition, creativity and spatial patterns. Individuals that are right-brained are said to be good at mathematics and art (Alferink and Farmer-Dougan, 42). Moreover, the right is the place for visual and spatial abilities, musical identification, sensation and holistic view (Cohen, 232).
Believing this brain lateralization theory has pushed some educators to teach and focus on a particular hemisphere, and to adapt their strategy based on the hemisphere of their student. Educators focused on reading and writing when they are teaching for the left hemisphere, while educators teach visual arts and concepts when they are focusing on the right hemisphere.
However, some studies are not mature enough to be relied on some conclusions and do not have sufficient evidences yet. Emerging information regarding brain lateralization is unhelpful for interpreting synaptic changes during learning (Alferink and Farmer-Dougan, 43).
The problem about this belief is that spatial and language data are processed by the brain simultaneously. So, we cannot separate the activation of one hemisphere from the other even if we are teaching a certain type of information. Moreover, it is significant to remember that development of both sides of the brain must be done to allow students to integrate spatial and analytical learning.
This paper aims to tackle the current understanding on brain lateralization as well as the misinterpretation of brain lateralization into the myth of being left brained or right brained. Brain lateralization is important to be understood and be clarified since some teaching strategies rely on its principles.
Myth on being left-brained and right-brained
There are researches which hypothesized about different brain hemispheres having different control in learning. There is a widespread literature that supports the idea of brain lateralization with the left hemisphere being responsible for language processing and the right hemisphere being responsible for spatial-based processing. One problem about the use of information on brain lateralization processing is the educational strategy of focusing in only one hemisphere. These individuals have their corpus callosum severed because they experienced irrepressible seizures and thus, they have atypical brain function before and after the surgery of their corpus callosum. Having a different brain functioning than normal, it is not a good suggestion to use a brain lateralization-educational-strategy to teach children. The use of hemisphere-specific education is not a technique for improving neocortical functioning.
Although neuroscience research supports lateralization of function, we need to understand that lateralized functions happen concurrently. It is true that information is processed in a different way; however, they are also processed simultaneously by both hemispheres. Therefore, selecting which hemisphere to use at a certain point for academic purpose is not possible. Educational strategies that aim to target only one part of the brain and ignore the other are not attainable (Alferink and Farmer-Dougan, 43).
Misunderstanding of the brain lateralization researches has lead to the establishment of curricula that are based on left-brain and right-brain. Using unreliable strategy on teaching students, and focusing on particular lessons to target one hemisphere is ineffective and might mislead educators from helpful instructive practices (Alferink and Farmer-Dougan, 43).
Current understanding of Brain Lateralization
A study on brain lateralization was done using clinically applicable fMRI test. It includes both visuospatial and verbal undertakings to evaluate memory in brain hemispheres. The study employed healthy right-handed participants and analyzed both the activation of two hemispheres of the brain. LI toolbox of Wilke and Lidzba were used to compute for the lateralization of the brain. The study gave data on language lateralization. The findings are consistent with preceding researches; nevertheless, a diversity of activation implications was established at the personal level which denotes variations in approaches throughout visuo-spatial and verbal processing. The study recommends auxiliary research by means of the accessible technique to decide the clinical value of the findings (Strandberg et al., 1).
The research investigation of Strandberg and his colleagues (8) seek to know the likelihood of language lateralization through verbal memory model. The result showed that healthy right-handed participants gave left lateralization at the group level. On the other hand, in a single subject, different activation effects are discovered. Lateralization changes depending on tasks, gender and age. Participants showed left lateralization, right lateralization and mixed lateralization for verbal encoding evaluation. Different lateralization demonstrated a flexible process in memory encoding. There was no comprehensible lateralization in the realm of verbal encoding (Strandberg et al., 9).
Alferink, Larry A. and Valeri Farmer-Dougan. "Brain-(not) Based Education: Dangers of Misunderstanding and Misapplication of Neuroscience Research." Exceptionality 18 (2010): 42-52.
Cohen, Richard J. "The Future ofAmerican Unionism." Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 473 (1984): 232-233.
Strandberg, Maria, et al. "fMRI memory assessment in healthy subjects: a new approach to view lateralization data at an individual level." Brain Imaging and Behavior 5 (2011): 1–11.