The divided brain – joining thing up


This was my back up plan, should I not be able to write. I am a big fan of the RSA talks generally, so it’s a double whammy when they are combined with cartoons.

I have been interested in the brain for a while now, despite my lack of biological knowledge. Ever since I did some work with the wonderful Janet Treasure and started to learn about the relationship between the brain and behaviour, I have begun to appreciate the ways in which the brain is connected to who we are and get a small sense of how it all joins up.

An example? Apparently, the more you do something, the more the pathways become defined and a behaviour becomes the default setting, kind of like Google where part of the algorithm is set to pick up where you’ve gone before.

Suddenly, the reasons why habits or behaviours become ingrained is apparent and the knowledge helps me to make sense of myself.

Anyway, I’m absolutely no expert…but after the first light bulb moment, my curiosity was piqued and, since then, I’ve been seeking more and more information out.

Last year, I went to talk on the differences between the right-side and left-side of the brain. The bird example in this Animate was present, as was a similar discussion over what happens when we disproportionately appreciate one – or the other – side of the brain. It was the first time that I’d started to consider both the internal workings of the two hemispheres, and about how this related not only to the individual but to the wider society we live in.

Iain McGilchrist explores this in more detail and, whilst I am not sure how he makes the leap from the pursuit of happiness to the “explosion of mental illness”, nor that I wholly agree with the allegations that ‘freedom is strangled’ or that we have become ‘less able to use’ information, his talk is fascinating.

It’s worth a view from for the social and biological insights but it’s also a good reminder of how much is going on inside us at any one time –

Seems like today might have had a theme 😉

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