Are you left-brained or right-brained?

left-brained or right-brained

One of the most important notions about the human brain’s bumpy geography is that it is divided in two. The left side is supposed to regulate logic-related functions, whereas the right side is thought to control abstract cognition and creativity. But this notion is oversimplified

Farah Naz

Table of Contents

The human brain is divided.

The human brain is divided in the middle when you look at it.

The basis for presumptions is the split’s character

This physical divide, i.e. left side vs. right side, prompted early psychologists to abandon attributing psychological notions.

Even sections that are in the middle are divided

The brain’s major parts, such as the striatum, thalamus, hypothalamus, thalamus, and brainstem, are comprised of continuous tissue but are divided into left and right sides.

The left brain controls the right arm and leg

The left and right sides control various physical functions, such as movement and vision. For example, the right arm and leg are controlled by the left side of the brain, and vice versa.

1800s mental health professionals

However, complications develop when this principle is overextended. The belief that practically all brain processes are handled by either the left or right side of the brain dates back to psychiatrists in the 1800s.

Their assessment

After discovering that individuals who had difficulty communicating had damage to their left temporal lobes, they concluded that communication was regulated by the left side of the brain.

Novelist Robert Louis Stevenson, Scottish

This concept piqued the interest of both the scientific community and the author Robert Louis Stevenson, who wrote about a rational left hemisphere competing with an emotive right hemisphere.

Mr. Hyde and Dr. Jekyll

The characters Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde symbolize the left and right sides of the brain (one being good and the other evil). This results in associations with both order and anarchy.

A hemisphere that has been damaged or split

Later, psychologists discovered that patients whose hemispheres had been divided or who were missing one hemisphere could nevertheless exhibit a variety of logical and creative activities.

Some functions are localized, but not totally

However, it has been revealed that some processes require greater activity on one side of the brain than the other. Language is more localized to the left, whereas attention is more directed to the right.

Not by individual, but by system, it differs

As a result, one side of the brain may be making more effort, but this varies by function rather than individual.

No one has a dominant aspect

There is no hard scientific evidence to support the notion that individuals have dominant brain sides.

Being creative need not imply having the dominant right side.

Some people are quite logical, while others appear to be completely creative and artistic, but this has nothing to do with which side of their brain is dominant.

Creativity is necessary for logic

For instance, we might require a great deal of creativity to answer a very difficult arithmetic issue.

Logic is necessary for creativity

In a similar vein, logical approaches must be taken when viewing many colorful pieces of art. At the most basic level, an artist might have to determine the ideal ratio of a person’s head to leg length.

Compartmentalized systems that cooperate

Even though our brains are segmented, almost everything our brain performs requires it to work as a single unit.

We are engaged in multitasking when we communicate (remembering, processing, etc.)

So the brain operates in a modular manner, which cannot be reduced to just left and right, and those portions of the brain collaborate to carry out functions.

Consider how the marketing department collaborates with the finance department.

The brain functions similarly to a political system, with many diverse working elements that occasionally (should) collaborate.

Why our brains might have evolved to function this way

The advantage of this from an evolutionary standpoint is that if one section of the brain dies, a person is not rendered utterly incapable of performing any tasks.

How two sides work together: We cannot converse with abstractions.

Large-scale, low-resolution abstractions (i.e., comprehending something as the sum of its parts) are typically associated with the right, whereas high-resolution, detailed knowledge structures (i.e., language) are commonly associated with the left.

How two sides collaborate: We must find our feet before chartering into unfamiliar terrain.

Mastery of an area vs that which is comparatively unexplored and unmastered should be used to understand the underlying difference instead of comparing language versus non-language or mathematics versus non-mathematics.

How two sides operate together: Stopping and starting

The idea that the right hemisphere is primarily concerned with behavior inhibition and the left hemisphere will function by stimulating behavior is another imprecise assumption.

How two sides cooperate: visuals and language

The left hemisphere handles text processing, whereas the right hemisphere handles image processing.

How two sides cooperate: the use of both holistic and linear thinking

The left hemisphere is associated with linear thinking, whereas the right hemisphere is concerned with holistic thinking

How the two sides collaborate: detail recognition and pattern recognition

While the right hemisphere is focused on pattern recognition, the left hemisphere is more concerned with detail recognition.

How two sides work together: the creation of details and patterns

Similarly, the left hemisphere is better at creating details, while the right hemisphere excels at creating patterns.


How do I know if I’m left or right-brained?

The idea of being strictly “left-brained” or “right-brained” is a bit of a myth. While there is some truth to the concept that the two hemispheres of the brain have different specializations, most activities involve both sides working together.

Here’s a breakdown of the traditional view:

  • Left Brain: Associated with logical thinking, analysis, and language skills.
  • Right Brain: Associated with creativity, intuition, and visual tasks.

There are online quizzes that claim to assess your brain dominance, but these aren’t very scientific. A better approach is to consider your tendencies:

  • Do you enjoy analytical problem-solving and working with numbers?
  • Are you drawn to creative pursuits like music, art, or writing?
  • Do you tend to be more methodical or more spontaneous?

What is a right-brained person like?

The term “right-brained” is typically used to describe someone with strengths in the areas controlled by the right hemisphere of the brain. Here’s what that might look like:


  • Creativity and Imagination: They may excel in activities like art, music, writing, or design. They might enjoy brainstorming and coming up with new ideas.
  • Visual Thinking: They might be good at visualizing objects, spaces, or concepts. This can be helpful in fields like architecture, engineering, or interior design.
  • Intuition and Emotion: They may be more in touch with their feelings and have a strong sense of empathy. They might make decisions based on gut feelings rather than strict logic.
  • Spatial Reasoning: They might be good at puzzles, navigating unfamiliar places, or understanding maps.

Learning and Career Preferences:

  • They often enjoy hands-on learning experiences and might struggle with rote memorization.
  • They might be drawn to careers that allow for self-expression and innovation, such as artists, musicians, writers, therapists, or entrepreneurs.

Important to Remember:

  • These are tendencies, not absolutes. Everyone uses both sides of their brain.
  • There’s no scientific way to determine if someone is truly “right-brained.”
  • People with strengths in right-brained areas can still be analytical and logical.

If you identify with these characteristics, you might enjoy activities that challenge your right brain and strengthen those skills even further.

Is the left brain or the right brain smarter?

Neither the left nor right brain is inherently “smarter.” They both contribute essential functions to overall intelligence.

Here’s why:

  • Specialization, not Domination: The two hemispheres have different specialties. The left excels in logic and language, while the right handles creativity and spatial reasoning.
  • Collaboration is Key: Your brain doesn’t operate in isolation. The two sides constantly communicate and work together for you to complete tasks effectively.
  • Strength Spectrum: We all use both sides, but some people may naturally lean towards one side’s strengths more than the other.

So, a well-rounded “intelligence” likely involves utilizing the strengths of both hemispheres.

Are females left or right-brained?

The idea of females being definitively left-brained or right-brained is a misconception. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Brain Lateralization: There is some truth to brain hemispheres having specialties. Traditionally, the left is linked to logic and language, while the right handles creativity and spatial reasoning.
  • Gender Differences: Research suggests some tendencies:
    • Corpus Callosum: Women tend to have a larger corpus callosum, the bridge connecting hemispheres, potentially allowing for more communication between sides.
    • Language Processing: Women may show more even brain activity during language tasks compared to men.
  • Individuality Matters: These are just tendencies, and brain function varies greatly within genders.

Here’s the key takeaway:

  • Both Sides, All People: Regardless of gender, most people use both brain hemispheres for various tasks. Our strengths likely lie on a spectrum, not a binary of left or right dominance.

What is left brain dominant?

The term “left-brain dominant” refers to a hypothetical state where someone supposedly relies more heavily on the functions associated with the left hemisphere of the brain. While the concept of strict left-brain or right-brain dominance is a simplification, here’s what it might entail:

Strengths of the Left Brain:

  • Logic and analytical thinking: Left-dominant individuals might excel at breaking down problems, identifying patterns, and following a systematic approach.
  • Language processing: They might have strong verbal skills, including fluency in speaking, reading, and writing.
  • Math and calculations: They might be comfortable with numbers and enjoy working with data and formulas.
  • Order and structure: They might prefer organized environments and enjoy planning and following routines.

Possible Learning and Career Preferences:

  • They might learn best through clear instructions, lectures, and written materials.
  • They might be drawn to careers that involve logic and analysis, such as science, engineering, law, accounting, or computer programming.

Important Caveats:

  • Brain Hemisphere Specialization: It’s important to remember this is a simplified view. The left brain does most of the language processing for right-handed people, but both hemispheres contribute to many functions.
  • Spectrum of Dominance: People likely fall on a spectrum of how much they rely on each hemisphere.
  • Limited Scientific Test: There’s no definitive scientific test to determine brain dominance.


The idea of left-brain dominance can be a helpful way to understand some people’s tendencies. However, it’s not a rigid category, and everyone uses both sides of their brain.

What are the weaknesses of a right-brained person?

Right-brained individuals, those who tend to show strength in functions associated with the right hemisphere of the brain, have some areas where they might face challenges. Here are some potential weaknesses, but remember these are tendencies, not absolutes:

  • Organization and Detail: They might struggle with tasks requiring meticulous attention to detail or keeping things highly organized. Their focus on the big picture might lead to overlooking specifics.
  • Linear Thinking and Analysis: Following a rigid step-by-step approach or breaking down complex problems logically might be less natural for them.
  • Time Management and Schedules: Sticking to strict schedules or deadlines could be a challenge. Their focus on creativity and exploration might make them lose track of time.
  • Verbal Communication: Expressing themselves clearly and concisely in words might be less comfortable. They might excel at nonverbal communication through art, music, or emotions.

Important Considerations:

  • Spectrum of Strengths: These are not inherent weaknesses, but rather areas where right-brained people may expend more effort. They can still develop these skills with practice.
  • Balance is Key: Everyone uses both brain hemispheres. Right-brained people can strengthen their left-brain skills and vice versa.
  • Learning Style: Understanding these tendencies can help right-brained learners find methods that suit them, like visual aids or hands-on activities.


The strengths of right-brained individuals, like creativity, intuition, and spatial reasoning, are highly valuable. By acknowledging these tendencies and working on areas for improvement, they can thrive in various aspects of life.

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