Personally…can we draw the line on left-brain/right-brain theory?

I don’t like being labeled.  I’m left-handed which means being a creative and thoughtful type instead of detailed oriented and logical like my right handed, left-brained counterparts.brain2

That’s because a left-handed person is ruled by their right brain; and a right-handed person is ruled by their left brain or so we’ve been told. But according to a new book “Top Brain, Bottom Brain,”coauthored by leading psychologist Stephen Kosslyn PhD, we’re really top-brain/bottom-brain users.   brain1How so?

In the book he explains that in practically any brain-imaging study, you’re going to see activation in both hemispheres.  The two are different in very precise ways, but the broad generalizations people have been encouraged to believe about them aren’t true.

His team analyzed a tremendous amount of research and found that the top is exclusively involved in creating and monitoring plans.  The bottom, meanwhile, classifies and interprets information.  The striking difference is that people who made high use of the top brain could use the bottom brain minimally, a lot, or at some level in between.   And this could happen vice versa.

Each part of the brain influences and interacts with the other. Kosslyn came up with four modes of thinkingmover, stimulator, perceiver, and adaptor – that emerged from the interactions he saw between the top and the bottom brain that go beyond basic function.  People who tend to operate in stimulator mode make extra use of the top brain; perceivers make extra use of the bottom brain; movers make strong use of both top and bottom; and adaptors don’t utilize either in any additional capacity – instead they let external circumstances guide their actions.  Interesting, no?

The Four Modes:

MOVER – extra use of both top and bottom brain.  You’re good at making plans and anticipating consequences.  You likely play a leadership role in some capacity – company manager, school principal, head of your community board.

PERCEIVER – strong use of bottom brain, little extra use of top brain.  You’re a natural at seeing the big picture.  You may be quiet,  but you’re always tracking what’s happening and can often offer a perspective others miss.

STIMULATOR – strong use of top brain, little extras use of bottom brain. You’re an out-of-the-box thinker who’s good at making plans, but not so good at coming up with new ones when things go wrong.

ADAPTOR – Little extra use of top or bottom brain.  You may not be the one pitching new ideas, but that doesn’t make you any less hardworking or efficient.  You’re often one of the strongest team players when it’s time to execute a plan.

Take the 20-question quiz at http://www.topbrainbottombrain.com to see where you land.

 So…what mode do you fall in?

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