We are Right/Left Hemisphere-ed

“A study conducted in the 1940s asked people with various kinds of brain damage to copy a picture of a house. Interestingly, the patients drew very different landscapes depending on which hemisphere remained intact. Patients reliant on the left hemisphere because the right hemisphere had been incapacitated depicted a house that was clearly nonsensical: front doors floated in space; roofs were upside down. However, even though these patients distorted the general form of the house, they carefully sketched its specifics and devoted lots of effort to capturing the shape of the bricks in the chimney or the wrinkles in the window curtains. (When asked to draw a person, this type of patient might draw a single hand, or two eyes, and nothing else.) In contrast, patients who were forced to rely on the right hemisphere tended to focus on the overall shape of the structure. Their pictures lacked details, but these patients got the essential architecture right. They focused on the whole.”

Lehrer, Jonah. “Imagine.”

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