After providing all the funding for The Brain from Top to Bottom for over 10 years, the CIHR Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction informed us that because of budget cuts, they were going to be forced to stop sponsoring us as of March 31st, 2013.

We have approached a number of organizations, all of which have recognized the value of our work. But we have not managed to find the funding we need. We must therefore ask our readers for donations so that we can continue updating and adding new content to The Brain from Top to Bottom web site and blog.

Please, rest assured that we are doing our utmost to continue our mission of providing the general public with the best possible information about the brain and neuroscience in the original spirit of the Internet: the desire to share information free of charge and with no adverstising.

Whether your support is moral, financial, or both, thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Bruno Dubuc, Patrick Robert, Denis Paquet, and Al Daigen

Monday, 24 June 2013
The Complementarity of the Brain’s Two Hemispheres

Einstein said that intuition is a gift, and rationality is its servant. But in another RSA Animate lecture to which we provide a link this week, about the specialization of the two hemispheres of the human brain, psychiatrist and author Iain McGilchrist says that we have created a society that honours the servant but has forgotten the gift.

McGilchrist first deconstructs a few oversimplifying myths, such as the idea that the brain’s left hemisphere is the seat of reason and the right is the seat of the emotions (in fact, both sides are deeply involved in both), or that for most people language is solely the province of the left hemisphere (the right hemisphere is also deeply involved in many aspects of language).

But then McGilchrist explains some actual differences in the way that the brain’s two hemispheres operate. According to McGilchrist, the left hemisphere has evolved to let us concentrate on specific tasks so that we can accomplish them successfully, while the right hemisphere has evolved to let us remain alert to our environment at all times—not only to the resources that it may contain, but to the dangers as well.

McGilchrist goes on to say that having built such close connections with each other, both sides of the brain have contributed to the complexity of human civilizations. The left has let us concentrate on problems and transform not only the physical world, but also the social one, with language enabling us to manipulate one another. The right enables us to feel embodied and interconnected with other people and our environment (a faculty whose importance is too often underestimated, according to McGilchrist) and thus to have a better overview of the world.

i_lien RSA Animate – The Divided Brain
i_lien The Master and His Emissary

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