©Arlene R. Taylor PhD 

altBrain scans have greatly expanded an understanding of the functions that are housed within the cerebrum. To quote Rita Carter, editor of Mapping the Mind:

Almost every mental function you can think of is fully or partly lateralized.

In other words, the cerebral hemispheres are hard-wired for very specific skills that, under normal circumstances, usually develop in one hemisphere or division. While it is true that certain areas are specialized for specific purposes, the brain can only be understood as one highly complex and integrated functional unit.

Dr. Restak, author of Mysteries of the Mind, wrote:

The great majority of its neuronal connections involve cross talk among neurons rather than the transfer of information to and from the rest of the body.

Evidence for lateralization can sometimes be observed in a brain scan (e.g., shows the side of the brain that is in charge of the particular function or task), although functions/systems can overlap or be involved in the same process, such as the memory system and the emotional system. A region in the hemisphere that is in charge of a specific task glows more brightly when compared to the matching region in the opposite hemisphere. Testing modalities have identified areas of the cerebrum that control or primarily direct specific functions (e.g., Broca’s Area for uttering audible speech, Wernicke’s Area for decoding audible speech).

Following is a summary of key functional contributions of each cerebral division.

The Two Frontal Cerebral Divisions

altPrioritizing

Division

altEnvisioning

Division

 

  • To set and achieve goals
  • To make and objective and timely decisions

 

  • To anticipate and make changes
  • To visualize, innovate, and meditate
altMaintaining Division

altHarmonizing Division

  • To supply services (dependably) needed for maintaining life
  • To run routines and habits

 

  • To build trust, connection, and peaceful foundations
  • To assess for harmony

 

 

Specific Skills Correlated by Cerebral Division

Basic cerebral functions are important as they permit human beings to learn skills and develop competencies that are critical to life on this planet as we know it. Following are examples of ways in which the cerebral functions  enable individuals to develop specific skills.
 

altPrioritizing

Division

altEnvisioning

Division

 

The Prioritizing Division  contains functions to assist you in developing skills related to: 

  • Inductive/deductive reasoning (logic, the researched view)
  • The ability to set goals, make decisions, prioritize the actions necessary to achieve goals, analyze everything for functionality (bounded shapes as well as abstract ideas)
  • Data-driven problem-solving (comparing, analyzing, summarizing)

The Envisioning Division  contains functions to assist you in developing skills related to: 

  • Active three-dimensional internal mental picturing
  • The ability to take in huge amounts of data (balcony view) second for second, notice when things are changing, identify trends, and compute context
  • Intuitive, innovative problem-solving (e.g., brainstorming new ideas, processes, products; meditating)

 

Areas of Unique Giftedness

altPrioritizing

Division

 

altEnvisioning

Division

 

  • Hardball negotiation (if Extraverted)
  • Strategy development
  • Cost-benefit analyses
  • Goal setting
  • Managing resources based on data
  • Precision
  • Creativity in setting and achieving goals and finding way to “win”
  • Exploring the unknown (entrepreneurial)
  • Finding new solutions (inventions, creativity, problem-solving intuitively)
  • Imagining (visioning, visualizing)
  • Inspiration (may be charismatic)
  • Mimicry
  • Meditation
  • Creativity in a variety of artistic endeavors (e.g., painting, composing, sculpture)

 

Unique Challenges

altPrioritizing

Division

altEnvisioning

Division

 

Prioritizers may be viewed by those with a different brain bent as insensitive, a people user, and a workaholic; may have limited access to the harmonizing division and can blow up easilywhen frustrated or crossed (e.g., Mt. Vesuvius). Tasks or activities that require use of the other three divisions (especially the diagonal Harmonizing 
division) are much more energy-exhaustive, such as:

  • Helping others to get along with each other and/or feel comfortable
  • Learning to speak foreign languages
  • Dressing (selecting colors, styles)
  • Direct spiritual experiences
  • Learning complicated dance routines

Envisioners may be viewed by those with a different brain bent as unpredictable, unrealistic, and undependable (due to penchant for spontaneity); dislikes details and routines and can quickly become bored with them. Tasks or activities that require use of the other three divisions (especially the diagonal Maintaining division) are much more energy-exhaustive, such as:

  • Routine self care (e.g., brushing teeth, washing face, applying makeup, styling own hair)
  • Detailed and repetitive routine procedures
  • Sequenced details (spelling)
  • Accuracy in addition (balancing check book)
  • Following rules and regulations precisely

 

Validation Suggestions

altPrioritizing

Division

altEnvisioning

Division

 

Validate an individual with a brain bent in the Prioritizing division for an ability to:

  • Exhibit an inductive/deductive reasoning style
  • Make objective decisions in a timely manner
  • Set and achieve goals
  • Prioritize steps required to achieve goals
  • Investigate and solve problems based on data
  • Engage in analytical investigation (research)
  • Use tools effectively and efficiently

Validate an individual with a brain bent in the Envisioning division for an ability to:

  • Anticipate and make changes by recognizing abstract patterns and trending
  • Be spontaneous
  • Problem-solve intuitively, be imaginative
  • Be entrepreneurial (if Extraverted)
  • Be artistically creative (if Introverted)
  • Exhibit a sense of humor

 

Functional Specializing and Specific Activities

altPrioritizing

Division

altEnvisioning

Division

 

The functional specialization of the Prioritizing division is designed to help accomplish specific activities, such as:

  • Make decisions and/or delegate
  • Set goals
  • Prioritize the best options
  • Be objective/single-minded in pursuing goals
  • Achieve social and organizational power by managing time and money effectively
  • Abstract and analyze data of every type
  • Be competitive and try to win
  • Utilize tools of every type
  • Research and problem solve based on data
  • Speak audibly and laugh aloud
  • Develop and use conscience
  • Manage willpower
  • Understand numbers and signs
  • Manage emotions (e.g., happiness, joy)

 

The functional specialization of the Envisioning division is designed to help accomplish specific activities, such as:

  • Anticipate and make changes
  • Absorb the big picture, the balcony view
  • Scan for trends, patterns, global perspective
  • Meditate, daydream, imagine, envision
  • Innovate - travel, write, compose, design (entrepreneurial activities if Extroverted, artistic activities if Introverted)
  • Compute context
  • Gesture expressively and expansively
  • Be spontaneous (unconstricted due to a dislike of rules/routines)
  • Appreciate, develop, and use a sense of humor
  • 3-D internal mental picturing
  • Risk doing something in a new way
  • Think in pictures and symbols
  • Manage emotions (e.g., anger, fear, sadness)

 

Environments or Accessories

altPrioritizing

Division

altEnvisioning

Division

 

Desirable environments or accessories for a brain bent in the prioritizing division include:

  • Uncluttered space
  • Colors: black, white, gray, and navy
  • Machines and mechanical tools
  • A computer for research projects
  • Scales, gavel, calculator
  • Charts containing numbers and percentages
  • Framed awards
  • Abstract photographs of arrows
  • A list of goals and objectives
  • A five-year plan
  • Structured music (e.g., slow movements of Bach, Mozart, baroque compositions). If used as background music, typically works best for male brains and more Extroverted female brains

Desirable environments or accessories for a brain bent in the envisioning division include:

  • Airy, unstructured space with plenty of flat surfaces for visual stacking
  • A computer to assist with creativity and managing data
  • Geometric models
  • 3-D puzzles
  • A reading corner with a wide range of topics
  • Large sheets of paper, pencils, erasers, and markers
  • Caricatures and cartoons
  • Unusual furniture and/or pillows on the floor
  • A bulletin board with pins
  • Jazz and baroque music. If used as background music, typically works best for male brains and more Extroverted female brains
  • Space for meditation

 

The Two Posterior Cerebral Divisions

altMaintaining

Division

altHarmonizing 

Division

The Maintaining division
contains functions to assist you in developing skills related to: 

  • The ability to sequence a set of actions into a routine (a set of pre-made decisions) and follow it accurately
  • The tendency to more easily absorb information that is perceived as linear (e.g., rectangles, squares, lines, angles)

Occipital lobe (vision): sees and identifies details

Temporal lobe (auditory): listens for nouns and verbs (labels/directions)

Parietal lobe (kinesthetic): grasps and manipulates bounded shapes, tends to line up objects precisely

 

The Harmonizing division
contains functions to assist you in developing skills related to: 

  • The ability to compare everything to assess for the presence or absence of harmony
  • The tendency to more easily absorb information that is perceived as harmonically related (e.g., color, smiles, body language, oval or circular or rounded shapes)

Occipital lobe (vision): sees colors and reads nonverbals

Temporal lobe (auditory): listens for nonspeech sounds and the music of speech

Parietal lobe (kinesthetic): assesses touch connection and relational position of bounded shapes in the environment

 

Areas of Unique Giftedness

altMaintaining

Division

altHarmonizing

Division

 

  • Performing routine and repetitive self-care activities (e.g., brushing teeth, washing face, applying makeup, styling own hair)
  • Following detailed routines and step-by-step procedures
  • Achieving accuracy in repetitive sequenced tasks
  • Legible hand writing and accurate spelling
  • Operating machines
  • Connecting with others
  • Singing and/or dancing
  • Selecting colors and style in clothing
  • Learning to speak foreign languages
  • Achieving spiritual connections

 

Unique Challenges

altMaintaining

Division

altHarmonizing

Division

 

Maintainers may be viewed by those with a different brain bent as boring, stuck in a rut, and lacking spontaneity or an ability/willingness to make changes.

Tasks that require use of the other three divisions (especially the diagonal Envisioning division) are much more energy-exhaustive, such as:

  • Drama
  • Coping with novelty
  • Inspiration or brainstorming
  • Trending or imaginative forecasting
  • Innovation (hates change and tries to maintain the status quo)
  • Dealing with interruptions

Harmonizers may be viewed by those with a different brain bent as overly sensitive and overconforming or overcomplying in their effort to maintain harmony.

Tasks that require use of the other three divisions (especially the diagonal Prioritizing division) are much more energy-exhaustive, such as:

  • Making logical decisions
  • Completing cost-benefit analysis (e.g., financial)
  • Negotiating
  • Saying “no” or making unpopular decisions
  • Setting personal limits appropriately and consistently
  • Engaging in hardball negotiations

 

Functional Specialization and Specific Activities

altMaintaining

Division

altHarmonizing

Division 

 

The Maintaining division contains functions to assist you in honing skills related to the following: 

  • Develop and run internal brain “software” (habits) dependably
  • Be sequential, practical, and predictable
  • Honor and maintain traditions
  • Learn the rules and follow them
  • Repeat routines/procedures accurately
  • File and track data, labels, details, objects
  • Develop skills for reading, writing, spelling
  • Utilize fine motor skills for grasping and manipulating bounded shapes, for data entry, word processing, and typing (prestidigitation)
  • Store and track non-emotional memories
  • Develop complex rhythmical skills (music, data entry, typing, marching)
  • Decode speech sounds (although can decode nonspeech sounds)
  • Maintain the status quo

The Harmonizing division contains functions to assist you in honing skills related to the following: 

  • Promote relatedness, connectedness, and harmony (among sounds, colors, bounded shapes, the environment)
  • Be sentimental
  • Be in tune with nature
  • Celebrate everything (e.g., holidays, anniversaries, deaths, national events)
  • Enjoy potlucks
  • Pursue relational and collegial connectedness
  • Take in information via touch (hugs)
  • Sing and play musical instruments by ear (native musical ability)
  • Entertain, act, dance, sing, cook, teach
  • Process spiritual experiences, counsel
  • Read nonverbal body language
  • Recognize faces, store emotional memories
  • Decode nonspeech sounds (although can decode speech)

 

Environments or Accessories

altMaintaining

Division

 

altHarmonizing

Division 

 

  • Space that contains equipment for tracking data (hard copy and/or electronic)
  • Neutral or subdued colors
  • Filing cabinets with files and labels
  • A computer with which to track information
  • A dictionary, a calendar, and a to do list
  • A selection of how to books
  • A desk set that contains divided portions for pencils, pens, erasers, and paper clips
  • Martial style or traditional style music. If used as background music, typically works best for male brains and more Extroverted female brains

 

  • An upbeat, colorful space
  • Photos of family members and close friends
  • Plants, pine cones, candles, stuffed animals
  • A computer for personal use
  • A chair with a cozy afghan or blanket
  • Inspirational books and pictures
  • Smiley stickers and colorful crayons
  • Sounds of nature
  • Musical instruments
  • Rhythmical, melodic music, and music that tells a story. If used as background music, typically works best for male brains and more Extroverted female brains

 

Validation Suggestions

altMaintaining

Division 

altHarmonizing

Division

Validate an individual with a brain bent in the Maintaining division for an ability to:

  • Provide services predictable and dependably
  • Follow directions/procedures accurately
  • Complete assignments on time
  • Track bounded shapes (data, objects)
  • Memorize facts, figures, names, labels
  • Spell words accurately
  • Print or write (cursive) legibly

 

Validate an individual with a brain bent in the Harmonizing division for an ability to:

  • Build trust, harmony, and peaceful foundations
  • Verbalize own feelings
  • Observe and acknowledge feelings of others
  • Connect with others (e.g., smiles, hugs)
  • Harmonize sounds, colors, the environment
  • Be a peacemaker, help others to feel welcome and comfortable, especially in new situations

 

 

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