Thursday, October 24, 2013

Left Brain, Right Brain, And The Power Of Poetry

By Elizabeth N. Jennings

It's unfortunate but true, and probably due to our tech-driven, scientifically orientated world, that when I tell people I write poetry for a living, I'm likely to hear the question, "But what's it for? What does it do?" And that's a puzzler when it comes to literature and poetry. To those of us who love it, it's perfectly obvious what it's "for."

Left-brain teaching is linear. Lists to learn and memorize. Teachers talk. Kids write it down. Teachers have a plan. Kids follow the plan. Whoa there. You've just lost all those right-brain kids. Now they get poor grades. They're labeled with a learning disability. Maybe they get in trouble. Probably somebody thinks they have ADHD.

Left brain, right brain... Uh, what? We've all heard this division-of-the-brain theory many times. Personally, I can never remember which way around it goes, but then that probably means I'm a bit of a right-brainer! It all has to do with the way our brains process information, and which tasks get assigned to which parts of the brain, with the right brain supposedly being more 'artistic,' and the left being more of a computer.

Neuroscientists are now learning that, although some things can be fairly well localized, like motor function, our intellectual abilities are quite a bit more complex. For instance, did you know that your ability to speak is stored somewhere completely different from your ability to sing? There are documented cases of people who have become aphasic (unable to speak at all) but who can communicate well if they just SING the words out!

Now the action part. How do you get this neuronal pattern? How do you get these synapses across the corpus callosum? It's really quite simple. Every time you cross your body's midline, you make neuronal patterns between the right and left side. Right-brain dominant kids are now able to use more of their left brain. And left-brain dominant kids able to use more of their right brain. Just get them moving. Walking while swinging their arms. Skipping. Playing ball. Dancing. Running. Since moving is key, perhaps we're seeing more right-brain dominant kids because kids are less active.

Get kids doing Brain Gym's cross crawl. It's like marching in place. You can do it sitting or standing. Raise your right leg and touch your knee with your left elbow. Now left leg up and touch with right elbow. How many variations on this can you and your kids invent. Be sure to use music. Makes it more fun. How slowly can you do it? Slowly gives you more brain integration and better balance.

It would seem that our brains have been programmed for this kind of thinking since before anyone even thought of writing anything down. After all, how are you going to pass down the tribe's history to the next generation, unless you turn it into an epic song or poem that people can remember, one verse at a time? Entire moral codes and genealogies were passed on in this manner until came up with the written word, and though we can now access all kinds of words on the internet with a flick of a mouse button, our brains still crave the stimulus that poetry gives, especially when it's spoken out loud.

Visual stimulation from the left side in a checkerboard pattern using different colors comes up through the optic pathway to the brain stem and up to the right brain. The T.E.N.S. unit set at subthreshold stimulates large diameter nerves which fire up to the cerebellum and to the opposite brain.

About the Author:

1 comment:

  1. I found your this post while searching for some related information on blog search. ..Its a good post..keep posting and update the information.
    wisdom tooth extraction