Understanding Your Brain for Better Design: Left vs. Right (P.1)

Saturday, 27 August 2011 § 0

The concept of the left and right brain only lately popped up in the late 1960′s, but since has become a well-known part of human psychology.
While we all use both sides of the brain, each of us has a dominant side, and this dominant side makes up for a huge part of our personalities.
Each individual thinks a certain way, has more interest in certain areas, and above and beyond all — is most effective in certain ways. An accurate understanding of the left and right brain can help one to become more productive, efficient, and creative.
This article will cover a basic understanding of what the left and right brains are, and each of their traits. We’ll also go into how we, as creative people, can harness this understanding of the left and right brain to be more creative, as well as succeed in other work-related tasks.

What They Are, and Their Difference

Some may have heard of this, others may have not. Before we get too into specific examples to aid in our benefit, let’s go over exactly what the left and right brain are, and their associated characteristics.
Left Brain Right BrainOur brain is divided into two halves, as most of us know: the left and right side. Each side processes information very differently than the other, and the biggest difference is the visual aspect.
The right side of the brain looks at visual reference as a whole, whether it be a landscape, object, or piece of artwork, and then works its way into noticing finer details.
The left side on the other hand, first sees the details and puts them together to form the bigger picture.
Our brains use both of these sides, mixing and matching each side’s abilities for a fully-functional human brain. However, each of us has a dominant side that leans more towards the behaviors of that respected side.
There are a number of characteristics, many of which could be considered personality traits, that a person with either type of dominate side has:

Right Brain

Those with a right-side dominant brain depend more on visual references for understanding and are often times visual learners.
They are more emotional, swayed by feelings, and are able to better understand and reflect on these feelings. Furthermore, right-brained thinkers are very intuitive and curious about the world.
Finally, as a down side, they tend to be disorganized, lacking in time-management, and unable to prioritize well.

Left Brain

The left brain is the side that handles organization and logic.
Because of this, those that have a dominant left side are also very organized; they prefer schedules and deadlines, and love rules and regulations. They are more auditory learners, and are better at using words to remember things rather than visual aids.
They process ideas in a step-by-step, algorithmic way, and are therefore less prone to error.

Their Relation to Art, Design, and Creativity

As one may have probably already guessed, those with dominance in the right brain may be more naturally creative.
It’s easy to assume this because for one, right-brained thinkers are less common than left, so it seems as though one would be seeing the world differently from everyone else.
Also, the natural heightened visual nature and curiosity tend to make the mind never stop thinking of the alternative — as well as how it can be applied visually.
Those with a dominant left brain are far more common, and far more analytical. They may feel at disadvantage for not having that ‘natural’ creativity. Realistically, though, left-brained people can be just as creative; they just come about it in a different way.
To better understand the artistic nature of both sides, let’s take a look at a few examples of artwork.

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