How does our brain work? Is it divided into two distinct parts or is it the sum of more than 2 parts? In the late 1960’s, Professor Roger Sperry of California, who was awarded a Nobel prize for his research, informed the world of his findings into the brain’s most highly evolved area, the cerebral cortex. Since then, scientists have made several distinctions on how the brain functions.

Sperry’s initial findings indicated that the two sides, or hemispheres, of the cortex tend to divide the major intellectual functions between them. The right hemisphere appeared to be dominant in the following intellectual areas; rhythm, spatial awareness, imagination, daydreaming, colour and dimension. The left hemisphere appeared dominant in a different but equally powerful range of mental skills like words, logic, numbers, sequences, linearity, analysis and lists.

Although each hemisphere is dominant in certain activities, they are both basically skilled in all areas and the mental skills identified are actually distributed throughout the cortex.

We have made it a contemporary trend to label people either left or right side dominant, but it is counter-productive. If we call ourselves “right-brain” or “left-brain” people, we are limiting our ability to develop new strategies.

If you announce “I am bad at or do not possess mental skill X”, it is a misunderstanding and not entirely correct. If one is weak in any talent or skill, the correct statement must be “I have yet to develop mental skill X”. Rather, the only constraint to the expression and application of all our mental skills, is our knowledge of how to access them.

The range of skills available to all of us include ;

1. Language – Words and symbols

2. Number

3. Logic – Sequence, Listing, Linearity, Analysis, Time and Association

4. Rhythm

5. Colour

6. Imagery – Daydreaming, Visualization

7. Spatial Awareness – Dimension, Whole picture

Is it possible to integrate both our left and right hemispheres to access whole brain learning and thinking? Highly skilled “Memory Practitioners” have done it. They have the ability to remember very long list of items or a very long string of numbers in any sequence, both backwards and forwards. Einstein was said to used both right and left brain when he came up with his famous equation, E=MC2 . He imagined himself riding on a beam o light and set out to mathematically prove the law of relativity. Talk about left brain and right brain synergy !

Our brain tend to look for pattern and completion. For instance, most people hearing “A, B, C …” will have to fight the urge to say “D”. Similarly people can see a face on a rocky outcrop on the planet Mars or shapes of animals in passing clouds.

Therefore, having a strategy for memory and learning by utilizing the brain’s urge to look for patterns and completeness can help you remember better and learn faster. Tired of forgetting where you put your car keys or mobile phone? Want to improve your memory? Well, the next time you put either of them on the top of the TV, imagine your favourite TV personality telling you your item is on top of his or her head.

Author's Bio: 

Martin Mak is a memory and learning expert and has developed a new program to help you remember better and accelerate your learning. For a free ecourse on how to improve your memory, and learning you can visit =>
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