Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Brain Quirks

A Facebook friend shared a post about left brain/right brain functions and cooperation, which was more about the true physical and functional differences than just the usual pop culture version of those ideas. Some of the emphasis was on how much one side needs the other for proper function, and some of the problems that result when one side becomes too dominant.

I always had trouble with the left brained/right brained personality type ideas. I've always thought of myself as very right-brained in some ways, preferring stories and ideas to details and facts. I've always been fairly feelings-driven, and enjoyed the freedom to be creative. On the other hand, I have always lived in language, being in love with reading and writing for literally as long as I can remember. I've always had a deep need for order to feel comfortable. So I assumed I must be fairly right/left brain "balanced", if you will, but on little self-assessments over the years for various classes and such, I always tested as much more "left-brained".

When I was diagnosed with epilepsy last year, my neurologist told me that, based on where the pathological activity manifested in my brain, and the symptoms that I experienced before, during, and after seizures, it was likely that my Broca's area (the primary area responsible for processing language into speech, usually in the left frontal lobe), and possibly Wernicke's area (where, we think, our understanding of both written and spoken language is processed) are on the right side of my brain, rather than the left. That's not unheard of, but it does tend to mean that not all of my neural activity fits neatly into the normal dichotomy, or its related cooperative functions.

So I'm not crazy. My brain just has atypical structure.

Wait. . . .

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