This is the Age of the Brain and studies proliferate. Information related to selected brain functions is included in this section. Learning more about brain function in general and your brain in particular, can help you make conscious choices about living life by design. More is being revealed about how the brain ages and how its functions can be preserved for as long as possible. Studies on functional differences between East Brains and West Brains are adding a new Cultural Neuroscience dimension. The concept of stress and downshifting has been described in a much easier-to-understand model. Physical connections between the brain and the immune system have been uncovered. Concepts related to brain bent, extroversion-ambiversion-introversion, gender differences, and other key cerebral functions are being refined and expanded.
- The term lateralization refers to the way in which specific abilities are distributed between the two cerebral hemispheres. Clinical evidence of lateralization (hemisphere specialization) has been around since at least 1976. The advent of brain imaging modalities including Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) continues to add to that body of knowledge.
- Terms such as bent, preference, dominance, lead, innate giftedness, temperament, and even energy-efficiency 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 bent. Competency refers to the development of specific skills. Higher levels of competency may be possible, however, when developing skills within one’s bent.
Interestingly, this is not a new concept, going back perhaps to the tenth century BCE. ["Train up the child in the way he should go (and in keeping with his individual gift or bent) and when he is old he will not depart from it" –Proverbs 22:6, Amplified Bible.] When your brain is purring along energy-efficiently as you engage in activities that draw from your brain bent, you likely would never want to live a different way, either.
The concept of brain bent has been validated in a variety of ways. For example:
- Research and experimentation by leaders in the field (e.g., Roger Sperry, Carl Jung, Robert Ornstein, Henry Mintzberg, Michael Gazzaniga, Karl Pribram, Ned Herrmann, Richard Haier, Paul MacLean, Joseph Bogan, Victor Bunderson, Richard Restak, Hans Eysenck, Tanzi and Chopra, Zenith Petrie, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and countless others)
- EEG experiments by Ned Herrmann and others along with comprehensive studies utilizing the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI)
- Work by KBA (Katherine Benziger and Associates) utilizing the Benziger Thinking Styles Assessment (BTSA)
- 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; and studies at General Electric’s Management Development Institute
- Brain function research will always be a work in progress as new information is discovered and expanded ways of looking at existing information emerge.
Use the information provided in these Brain References to help you better understand yourself and others.