Threesology Research Journal
Brain Hemisphere Attributes III

(The Study of Threes)

As with the previous brain hemisphere attributes page, please give all credits to the respective authors. I have attempted to provide links to the sites from which the information was derived, but all links may not be reliable since it's been several years since the information was compiled.

Continued from previous page. With respect to each example, please give all credits to the respective authors. Links to the sites from which the following information is derived, are provided at the end of each example.

Left Brain Right Brain
(selective)- Looks at parts
(extracting?)- [through convergence]
Holistic- Looks at wholes
Synthesizing- [through divergence]

Note: My additions are in blue in the above table.

--- The Secret Power of the Brain in Second Language Learning ---

The following example of brain differences may be of interest to some who consider that women/girls tend to be more right-brained then men/boys, or in any case, to simply think differently:

Women tend to perform better than men on tests of perceptual speed, in which subjects must rapidly identify matching items such as, pairing the house on the far left with its twin.
Men tend to perform better on certain spatial tasks such as those tests that involve mentally rotating an object or manipulating it in some fashion, such as visually turning a 3-D object.
Women remember whether an object, or a series of objects, has been displaced.
Men are good at determining where the holes punched in a folded piece of paper will fall when the paper is unfolded.
Women out perform men on some tests of ideational fluency such as those in which subjects must list objects that are the same color, or on tests of verbal fluency, in which participants must list words that begin with the same letter.
Men are more accurate than women in target-directed motor skills, such as guiding or intercepting projectiles.
Women do better on precision manual tasks-that is, those involving fine-motor coordination such as placing the pegs in holes on a board.
Men do better on disembedding tests, in which they have to find a simple shape, once it is hidden within a more complex figure.
Women do better than men on mathematical calculation tests.
Men tend to do better than women on tests of mathematical reasoning.

Doesn't this also suggest a type of verbal fluency?

--- Sex Differences in the Brain ---

Left Brain
cerebral hemisphere
Right Brain
cerebral hemisphere

Controls left side of body

Excels at visual motor tasks

Concrete thinking

Spelling and Rhyming

Intuitive and Artistic

Emotional expressions

Mathematics skills*



Complex motor movement*




Controls right side of body

Seeks explanation

Inventive and Interpretive

Looks for order and reasons

Language processing

Spatial abilities*

Face recognition*

Visual imagery*



*--- (Pinel 1990) ---

--- Hemispheric Specialization ---

Left Hemisphere (LH)

The left hemisphere deals with direct identification rooted in the concept of determining location, of ordinality and so sequence; it deals with the PARTICULAR... The LH has a text bias and a single context. It is explicit in expression and concerned more with 'what was', 'what is' or 'what WILL be'. Any relational considerations are limited to direct identification. It is independence biased. It is where we get concepts like 'fact' and 'truth' in that these are abstractions of location concepts emotively expressed as "YES - THATS IT!"; we can trace 'truth' down to our reptilian cousins' need to map their territory. In its extreme form of expression, in the LH there is no distinction of text from context, all is 'one'; absolute and fundamentalist, with a bias to 'purity', precision, and literal interpretations. There is an emphasis on the use of metonymy (part-for-whole identifications) and the development of knowledge initially through induction.

As we develop so a LH bias can become reductionist in that it attempt to establish location and so will reduce everything down to 'basics', it has a goal of clear, precise identification of the 'dot'... There can also develop a degree of conservatism in the form of a reluctance to change once a comfortable position has been obtained.

Being location biased (with the only context being 'correct' or 'incorrect') so the emphasis on logic and syntax - these are the ONLY sources of meaning. (As we shall see, this mellows when we introduce RH functioning). This meaning is, I suggest, driven by an ancient drive (nature) to remove illusion - useful when survival depends on distinguishing prey that has markings that help it blend-in with the surroundings.

Since the task of the LH seems to be more explicitly analytic (the 'direct light' approach), it does thing in sequence (proactive) and leads the brain's response to all direct explicit linear communications, and there is the suggestion that these LH biased characteristics are refinements of the limbic system's hippocampus, which is location bias and works in 200 ms time-frames that could create the concept of discreteness; abstracted to the whole/parts concepts found in neocortical thinking.

Right Hemisphere (RH)

The right hemisphere deals with indirect identification (the 'reflected light' approach) rooted in the concept of disguise; its 'role' is to both create and so hide location as well as use aspectual analysis to help identify. The stripes of the tiger and the changes of a chameleon are 'sourced' here; there is a bias to establishing a relationship with the immediate context and so to 'blend in'. Thus the RH has a STRONG contextual bias (text is the 'object' to be identified and so 'nebulous'). It is strongly hierarchic which at a refined level reflects a continuum of aspects that go towards identifying the 'text' (or disguising it). The RH is thus biased to approximations and intuitive assessments based on general patterns rather than particulars. (for example, the RH is good at general face recognition but the LH is better at particular face recognitions.) The RH is good at exaggerations and distortions in that it has a relational bias. The bias to distortions etc favours a more cardinality emphasis than the LH ordinality; as well as a leaning towards topological concepts.

The RH is more attuned to harmonics (colour, chords in music) and to concepts like refinement. It is biased to 'What could be?" (the LH would be "What WILL be"). It develops statistical models. It is implicit. It is dependent. It is qualitative and so an emphasis on 'value' compared to the LH emphasis on 'fact'. Its ancient roots (nature) are opposed to explicit identification - it favours hiding - blending-in by making the edges 'fuzzy' (cause of interference to help disguise). This said, the ability to modify favours a strong feedback process and so the ability to transform, thus complementing the LH bias to "oh it is 'just' X". In a developmental context, so the RH seems to be more biased to refined amygdala-like behaviours in the form of BLUFF. The LH bias is 'extreme' and more single context, all or nothing in this sort of expression.

The emphasis on context and transformations suggests a general bias to negation in that context serves to guide/control and so to restrain/constrain. At the abstract level so the RH is the source (and interpreter) of metaphor and symbol where the 'literal' of the left is 'copied' and transferred (metaphorized) into a form 'in here'. This process is then refined by the RH 'transformation' of the aspects of the 'real' into a 'symbol' that is LH expressed - the word that is then often taken literally as 'the thing' rather than a pointer to a pattern of emotion that represents 'the thing'.

The emphasis on metaphor stems from the making of maps that help the local generalise into the world of the non-local; the LH induction processes lead to map creations but these are in turn metaphors since living through the maps removes us from the 'real' world of senses. However this 'real' world is all LOCAL.

--- Left and Right ---

Right Brain vs. Left Brain
Brian Josephson- Graduate Student
Educational Technology

WHICH SIDE IS BEST for processing the job? While there is a significant body of evidence that each brain hemisphere has specialized abilities, it would be premature to jump to any conclusion that an individual has two brains or functions with only half of a brain. Each of the hemispheres has their own distinct specialization (Sousa, 1 995, p. 88).

Right Side vs. Left Side

Each side of the brain has its own unique and special abilities. The right side of the brain is intuitive, while the left side of the brain is logical.

Left side processes:
  • Speech
  • Analysis
  • Time Sequence
It Recognizes:
  • Letters
  • Numbers
  • Words
small brain image Right side processes:
  • Creativity
  • Patterns
  • Spatial Awareness
  • Context
It Recognizes:
  • Faces
  • Places
  • Objects

Even though both hemispheres of the brain have independent functions, an individual benefits from the integration of the processing of information performed by each side. The hemisphere best suited to perform the processing will process information; this allows an individual greater understanding and learning potential of the situation that initiated the brain processing information.


Research has shown most people have a dominant side of the brain. Individuals who are predominately left sided tend to be more verbal, analytical, and problem solvers; while individuals who are predominately right sided tend to be artsy, good with math, and are more visual in nature. Dominance goes into affect when thinking becomes increasingly more complex. Although each hemisphere has its own set of functions in information processing and thinking, research data supports the notion these functions are not exclusive to one hemisphere.

Hemispheric dominance

Functions associated with hemispheric dominance include:

Right Hemispheric Functions:

  • Connected to right side of body
  • Deals with inputs one at a time
  • Processes information in a linear and sequential manner
  • Deals with time
  • Responsible for verbal expression and language
  • Responsible for invariable and arithmetic operations
  • Specializes in recognizing words and numbers
  • Does logical and analytical thinking
  • The seat of reason
  • Crucial side for wordsmiths and engineers
Left Hemispheric Functions:

  • Connected to left side of the body
  • Integrates many inputs at once
  • Processes information more diffusely and simultaneously
  • Deals with space
  • Responsible for gestures, facial movements, and body language
  • Responsible for relational and mathematical operations
  • Specializes in recognizing places, faces, objects, and music
  • Does intuitive and holistic thinking
  • The seat of passion and dreams
  • Crucial side for artists, craftsman, and musicians

Myths and learning

There are several myths associated with hemispheric dominance.

Myths related to:

  • Handedness - No correlation between hemispheric dominance and being right handed vs. left handed.
  • Intelligence - No evidence to support right-sided hemispheric dominance is superior to left side hemispheric dominance and vice versa. There is no correlation to intelligence.
  • Genetics - No evidence that dominance is hereditary.
  • Gender - Females tend to be more left hemispheric dominant and males tend to be more right hemispheric dominant.

Females Test Better On:

  • Perceptual speed
  • Verbal fluency
  • Determining the placement of objects
  • Identifying specific attributes of objects
  • Precision manual tasks
  • Arithmetic calculations (simple math)
Males Test Better On:

  • Spatial tasks
  • Target direct motor skills
  • Spotting shapes embedded in complex diagrams
  • Mathematical reasoning

--- Encyclopedia of Education ---

Information source listed: Sousa, D. R. (1995). How the Brain Learns. Reston, VA: NASSP

Brain Dominance and Hemispherical Thinking

The left hemisphere (LH) specializes in verbal and numerical information processed sequentially in a linear and ordered manner. It is the active, verbal, logical, rational and analytic part of the brain; capable of cataloging and analyzing information.

The Right Hemisphere (RH) is the intuitive, creative, primarily non-verbal part of our brain and it deals in three-dimensional forms and images. It sees the forest rather than the trees and is capable of understanding complex configurations and structures.

The hemispheres are further subdivided into Forebrain (FB) and Hindbrain (HB) portions.

The thinking and problem solving attributes of left FB (LFB) dominant people are characterized as being logical, analytical, rational, objective and critical. These are people whom are talented in technical or quantitative endeavors.& These people use practical judgment and have an empirical, incisive view of problems and situations. They are very good at dealing with concrete situations and seek quantitative precision.

On the other hand, left HB (LHB) individuals are characterized as practical, pragmatic, decisive, realistic, organized and detail oriented. These people seek solutions that meet current needs, are good at tactics and pursue the shortest route to payoff. They are good at setting up agendas and like to develop schedules and plans. They usually accept conventional values and provide stability and structure to their organizations.

The thinking and problem solving attributes of RFB individuals are characterized as imaginative, innovative, intuitive, artistic and visually oriented. These people do well in tasks calling for synthesizing and conceptualizing abilities. They also have an integrative and more comprehensive view of situations and problems. They are able to consider and weigh a broad range of viewpoints and think strategically. They are good at gathering, assembling, comparing and reshuffling ideas which enables them to come up with unique and dynamic concepts. They prefer to work independently, pursue their own way rather than ready-made solutions and often take risks and break rules that impede progress.

RHB individuals are participative, supportive, empathic, interpersonal, affiliative, idealistic and emotional. Many have highly developed aesthetic sensitivity and tend to be artistic and spiritual. They are good at creating an idealistic, integrative image of reality. They tend to thrive on an internal sense of motivation and purpose. They like to challenge traditional assumptions and prefer to think speculatively.

--- Chapter 13: Brain Dominance and Hemispherical Thinking ---

Hemispheres of the brain as objects(what)/relationships (where) processors

For example, in general, the left hemisphere in most people is biased to 'what', or object, processing. Object processing implies a bias to 'point' determination and from this comes the concept of precision. Emotionally we see a positive to neutral frame of mind that is very single context such that when negative emotions are expressed they are done so in a very exaggerated, unsophisticated, intense manner, like that of a child. The object emphasis means an attraction to the particular and so the foreground, the text, is preferred over the background/context. These characteristics takes us into concepts such as reductionism, making things 'clear', fundamentalism, conservatism (dislike of change).

In general, the right hemisphere in most people is biased to 'where', or relationships, processing. Relationships processing implies a bias to 'field' determination in that we deal with the space around objects, and so the relationship of objects to local and non-local context. This context, being 'background' is often seen as 'negative' in that the relationships act to constrain/restrain any objects. There is a link here to grammar compared to the object oriented left where grammar is limited to syntax, 'correct' ordering. Overall the right hemisphere is emotionally not as positive as the left and in fact the right is the source of critical thinking but this can be done in an extremely 'refined' way with lots of implications/innuendoes, never actually explicitly getting to the point. This hemisphere is thus very good at processing metaphors in that it is good at getting behind things as well as hiding things. By this I mean that the relationships oriented right favours illusion, to exaggerate or play-down boundaries (and so objects) within a context and so the ability to bluff, to puff-up or to disappear into the background (we here get into concepts such as a like for change and a more liberal, relativist perspective).

--- Brain Hemispheres ---

The right brain hemisphere is dominant in human infants

C Chiron, I Jambaque, R Nabbout, R Lounes, A Syrota and O Dulac
Hospital F. Joliot, Department of Medical Research, Orsay, France.

The development of functional brain asymmetry during childhood is confirmed by changes in cerebral blood flow measured at rest using dynamic single photon emission computed tomography. Between 1 and 3 years of age, the blood flow shows a right hemispheric predominance, mainly due to the activity in the posterior associative area. Asymmetry shifts to the left after 3 years. The subsequent time course of changes appear to follow the emergence of functions localized initially on the right, but later on the left hemisphere (i.e. visuospatial and later language abilities). These findings support the hypothesis that, in man, the right hemisphere develops its functions earlier than the left.

--- Brain- Abstracts: Chiron et al. ---

With respect to the foregoing article, and correlated to the two-patterned = right hemisphere attributes as well as the three-patterned = left hemisphere attributes, outlined on the first page in the Brain Hemisphere Attributes section, it might be suggested that, developmentally speaking, early humans held a predominant two-patterned world-view. This would account for not only the differences in perception between early and later born cultures, but also why criminals are inclined towards two-patterned (polarized) estimations which frequently conflict with three-patterned designed activities congruent with observed laws. (Not that all three-patterned presented perspectives in law are without some measure of faulty organizational rationale.)

Some additional links that may be of interest:

--- Lateralization of Function in Cerebral Hemispheres ---
by Johnathan Ball

--- Brain Research Discoveries: Relevance to Successful Communications ---
By James J. Gilmartin

--- Information and the Human Brain- a summary ---

--- Creative Psychotherapy- Counseling the Right and Left Hemispheres ---
by Thomas S. Rue

--- The Left and Right Hemisphere ---
by R. Joseph, Ph.D.

For links to various brain-related websites:

--- Think Blade ---

Your Questions, Comments or Additional information are welcomed:
Herb O. Buckland