Monday, 31 March 2008

Two worlds inside our brains - Two interconnected hemispheres


What happens inside our brains is the most fascinating mystery of the universe. 


If in doubt about your cerebral capacity, think about the following facts about the human brain.

  • The human brain is said to have 100 billion neurons, like the number of stars in our galaxy. There is indeed a principle in alchemy - as within, so without.



We know that the human brain has two interconnected hemispheres though we are not usually aware of their differences in functioning. The hemispheres communicate with each other through a thick band of 200-250 million nerve fibers called the corpus callosum. 


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It seems that each hemisphere of the brain is dominant for specific behaviours:

  • the right brain is dominant for spatial abilities, face recognition, visual imagery and music 
  • the left brain may be more dominant for calculations, math and logical abilities. 
These are generalisations and in healthy people, the two hemispheres work together and share information through the corpus callosum. Much of what we know about the right and left hemispheres comes from studies of people who have had the corpus callosum split or suffered other injuries affecting brain structures or specific areas of the brain.

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Insider Description of a Stroke Impairing Brain Functions

Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor tells from personal experience the different roles each brain hemisphere play and what happens when a stroke begins to shut down brain functions.

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During a massive stroke she felt her brain functions slip away one by one, speech, movement, understanding - she studied and remembered every moment and describes it here. This is a fascinating description of experiencing a stroke, shared by a highly trained and experienced neuroanatomist.


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