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It was not long ago that scientists made the remarkable discovery that our brains are divided into two halves and that each half has separate features and roles. The brain is said to be divided into the left half and the right half. For ease of reference, they are called the left brain and the right brain.

The left brain is said to be the logical brain. It is the left brain that we use to solve mathematical problems and to think logically. For example, if you were asked how to make coffee, this is what happens, Your left brain begins to work; it searches its files for information on coffee making. If it finds the files, it begins relating what to do step by step. If it does not find any record, it says it does not know.

The right brain is often called the creative brain. It has the function of thinking creatively. This includes all the artistic functions, including art and music appreciation. When you want to draw a picture or compose a piece of music or write poetry, it is the right brain that is in operation. When you come across a new situation in your life, your right brain gives ideas on how to tackle it.

To some people, the left brain is dominant and to others, the right brain is. Of people who are good in mathematics and language expression - that is, putting into practice what they have learnt, we say that they are more left-brained. They are not very sensitive and believe in doing everything only after reasoning. They are very sharp at arguments. They are the type who will not believe in anything until they see it. Right brained people are more artistic and have a good sense of music appreciation. They are also more sensitive and tend to be emotional. They are more open to new ideas and are willing to accept radical positions.

Is the left brain better or the right brain? Both sides of the brain are equally important. In an ideal situation, a person should be exactly equal in both sides of the brain. However, as in most things, the ideal never happens. People are dominated by one or the other side of their brains.

In order to function effectively in the world, we must learn to use both sides of the brain. In many situations that we meet in the world, there will be requirements for both sides of the brain to work together as partners. For example, when you want to write a story, which brain do you use? The answer is both brains. You need the right brain to think of the ideas and you need the left side to arrange everything in a logical sequence. You cannot go through life with only one side functioning.

One last thing: In a left handed person, the brain will be in reverse. For him or her, the right brain will be the logical brain and the left brain will be the creative brain. Also, it has been observed that for some unknown reason, left handed people tend to be more creative. Hence you will see that most left handed people are artistic or at least have a keener sense of art appreciation. It is probable that what causes left and right handedness is the position of the brain and not vice versa.

Also, it is astounding that many of the greatest persons in History are known to be left handed. These include Napoleon, Charlemagne, Picasso, Alexander the Great and Benjamin Franklin. The number of great people who are left handed is out of proportion of the total number. Now, we know that what causes left handedness or right handedness is the position of the brain in the head. So is there any reason to believe that people whose creative brain is on the left are at an advantage? 

   
  Questions
   
  1. (a) Describe the functions of the left brain.
    (b) Describe the functions of the right brain.
    (c) How would you decide if a person has a dominant left o right brain ?
       
  2. (a) What are the negative aspects of people who are dominated by the left brain ?
    (b) How would a person dominated by the right brain view a sunset ?
       
  3.   Give an example of the left brain and right brain co-operating to do a task. ( Do not use the example in the passage. )
       
  4.   For each of the following words give one word or a short phrase (not more than seven words) which has the same meaning as it has in the passage.
      i.   remarkable   v.   radical
      ii.   separate   vi.   sharp
      iii.   logical   vii.   dominated
      iv.   creative   viii.   sequence
       
  5. Write a brief summary on the basic differences between the right brain and the left brain. You should use only material from the passage and the summary should be about 160 words.
       
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  Answers
       
  1. (a) The left brain is the logical brain and thinks according to reason.
    (b) The right brain is for creating and for tackling new situations.
    (c) If a person is creative he is probably dominated by the right brain and if most of the time logical he is dominated by the left brain.
       
  2. (a) People dominated by left brains are not very sensitive and will refuse to believe in anything until they see it.
    (b) He will look at the beauty and appreciate the different hues of colors and perhaps even be inspired by a sunset.
       
  3.   To solve a problem which involves a new situation, a person has to use his right brain to see a way out of it. Once he has found the way the left brain will use logic to solve it.
       
  4. i astonishing
    ii different
    iii reasonable
    iv artistic
    v acute
    vi rebellious
    vii controlled
    viii arrangement
       
  5.

The left side of the brain is the side that deals with logic. It is the part which is used to solve mathematical problems and to reason. If you have to make coffee, the left brain searches for information and if it finds the information tells you exactly what to do. If it does not find any record it denies knowledge of the skill.

The right side of the brain is called the creative brain. Its function is to think creatively. Creative thinking includes all the artistic activities including art and music. The creative brain also copes with any new situation in life.

People who are dominated by their left brains are not very sensitive and are very good at arguments. They will not usually believe in anything until they see it. People who are dominated by their creative brains are artistic and usually appreciate music rather well. They also tend to be emotional and are more sensitive. ( 158 words )

           
 
 
 
 
 

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Comprehension 1

 

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