In essence, we are how our brains function. Understanding more about brain function in general and our brains in particular, can help us make conscious choices about living life by design. Studies proliferate regarding how the brain ages and how its functions can be preserved for as long as possible. Emerging research on functional differences between East Brain and West Brains is adding a new Cultural Neuroscience dimension for consideration. The concept of Downshifting has been described in a much easier-to-understand model than heretofore. And key concepts related to Brain Lead (Dominance or Preference) and Extraversion-Ambiversion-Introversion are being expanded upon.
By the age of two, if children have been exposed to a variety of activities and have been encouraged to be who they were designed to be biochemically, evidence of their brain preferences should be emerging and can be observed. The old axiom, train children in the way they should go and when they are old they’ll never depart from it, makes incredible sense when viewed from this perspective.
In your own life, when your brain is purring along energy-efficiently as you engage in activities that draw from your brain’s area of preference, you likely would never want to live a different way!
- * Terms such as Preference, Dominance, Brain lead, Innate Giftedness, and even Temperament are often used somewhat synonymously and refer to a brain’s biochemical preference for processing information in an energy-efficient manner. Note that Competency is not synonymous with Preference.
- * The term Lateralization refers to the way in which specific abilities are distributed between the two hemispheres. Clinical evidence of lateralization (hemisphere specialization) has been around since at least 1976 and has been added to, especially since the advent of brain imaging equipment.
- * The concept of brain dominance (preference or brain lead) has been strongly validated in a variety of ways. For example:
- * Research and experimentation by leaders in the field (e.g., Roger Sperry, Robert Ornstein, Henry Mintzberg, Michael Gazanniga, Karl Pribram, Ned Herrmann, Richard Haier, Paul MacLean, Katherine Benziger, Joseph Bogan, Victor Bunderson, Hans Eysenck, Zenith Petrie, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi)
- * EEG experiments by Ned Herrmann and others along with comprehensive studies utilizing the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI)
- * Validation studies by a variety of researchers (e.g., C. Victor Bunderson and James Olsen of WICAT, Kevin Ho, David Schkade and Sarah Potvin at the University of Texas); more than 60 doctoral dissertations based on the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI) and the Whole Brain Concept; studies at General Electric’s Management Development Institute
- * Work by I. Katherine Benziger and her associates utilizing the Benziger Thinking Styles Assessment (BTSA)
As always when reviewing Brain References, keep in mind that many researched conclusions are presented in the form of generalizations. They typically are considered clearly applicable to about two-thirds of the population (Bell Curve of Distribution). Of the remaining third of the population, the conclusions will apply even more strongly to about half of them, and less strongly to the remaining sixth of the population. This does not invalidate the research. It does exemplify individual uniqueness. There are always exceptions based on individuality. In fact, average differences may not reveal anything about a specific person. Nevertheless, researched conclusions are a good place to begin and can provide some type of yardstick against which to compare behaviors. Use the information provided in these Brain References to help you better understand yourself and others.