Tag Archives: brain science

Hemispheric Asymmetries and Political Positions

Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, a Harvard brain scientist writes of her stroke that she had when she was 37 years of age.  Her stroke resulted from a brain hemorrhage that damaged the left side of her brain.  She’s a neuroanatomist by training.  Prior to describing her stroke and recovery she provides a chapter on brain “hemispheric asymmetries”.

Just as a cautionary note, we all use both sides of our brains.  The right and left hemisheres should be thought of as complimentary halves of a whole and not as seperate brains.  They do have differing specializations, however.

The right side of the brain allows us to:  remember isolated moments with uncanny clarity; recognize faces; the present moment is the only time period that is recognized; there is no defined rules about the correct way of doing things; intuition and empathy are processed on the right side of the brain. From the book: “The present moment is a time when everything and everyone are connected together as one.  As a result, our right mind perceives each of us as equal members of the human family” (p. 30).

Our left hemisphere  is organized around language Language is understood and produced in the left hemisphere. The left side of our brain thrives on facts and details.  There is a constant flow of brain chatter that comes from the left mind.  The left side defines our sense of self.  Time is organized and sequential.  Academic skills are processed on the left side our brains.

After reading the book, and I highly recommend it, I had thoughts that perhaps conservatives have some degree of right hemispheric dysfunction.  Not having empathy, not seeing interinconnections amongst us all, etc. would be clues to this possiblity.

What do you bloggers think of this latter “insight”?  Is it delusion or possibility?

iggy donnelly

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