By Dr Eugene Brink
Some people are good at math or analysis, others are more creative and spontaneous. Some people are a bit of all these things with an emphasis on certain attributes.
The brain consists of two hemispheres with different strengths and people could be left- or right-brain dominant. This distinction flowed from research conducted by Roger Sperry and other researchers in the 1960s, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1981.
Although different in many respects, it is generally accepted that the two sides of the brain work together in order to complete different tasks. “The two sides of the brain communicate with one another via corpus callosum. The left hemisphere controls the muscles on the right side of the body while the right hemisphere controls those on the left. This is why damage to the left side of the brain, for example, might have an effect on the right side of the body,” says Kendra Cherry, contributor at Verywellmind.com.
“It’s absolutely true that some brain functions occur in one or the other side of the brain. Language tends to be on the left, attention more on the right. But people don’t tend to have a stronger left- or right-sided brain network. It seems to be determined more connection-by-connection,” explained the study’s lead author Dr Jeff Anderson.
Whereas left-brained people tend to lean more towards mathematics, logic and sequencing, right-brained individuals tend to be more intuitive and creative. “Generally speaking, the left side of the brain tends to control many aspects of language and logic, while the right side tends to handle spatial information and visual comprehension,” Cherry says.
She says the strengths of the right side of the brain include the following:
- recognising faces
- expressing emotions
- reading emotions
According to the health website Healthline.com, rhythm, holistic thinking and all arts could be added to this list.
So, which jobs will right-brained people excel at?
Graphic designers, counsellors, psychologists, interior designers, managers, and jobs in the arts come to mind.
According to Futurofworking.com “graphic designers require vision and creativity with technical skill. Using colours and text in a manner that is able to get the attention of people is a highly sought-after skill. A graphic designer has to be able to listen to and translate the vision of a client into a working logo, website or text. This career requires the ability to communicate, art, and creativity as well as computer skills.
“Right brained people are natural leaders. Retail or corporate management is ideal for right-brained people. It involves people skills, motivation and the ability to complete goals and tasks. Managers are able to multitask in chaotic environments and deliver results.”
CareerTrend.com adds all design professions, advertising, writing, journalism, photography and architecture to this list. Fashion and industrial design should interest right-brain thinkers. Architecture requires visualisation prowess and a penchant for thinking three-dimensionally. Architects must use these skills to transfer an idea to paper or model for anybody to understand. Thinking holistically is of paramount importance as an architect.
Express.co.uk., 14 October 2019, “Left brain vs Right brain: What does the left brain control vs right brain?”, https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1190696/left-brain-right-brain-what-does-left-brain-control-more-dominant.
Healthline.com, 2019, “Left Brain vs. Right Brain: What Does This Mean for Me?”, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/left-brain-right-brain.
Kendra Cherry, 26 July 2019, “Left Brain vs. Right Brain Dominance: The Surprising Truth”, https://www.verywellmind.com/left-brain-vs-right-brain-2795005.
Career Trend, 2019, “Future of Working, 2019, “Careers for right-brained people”, https://futureofworking.com/careers-for-right-brained-people/.