# Talk:Lateralization of brain function

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## Popular meaning

Can't the article start with the popular meaning, as a way to debunk it, but still be useful. People every day say "left brained" and I came here to see what it meant and was confronted by a wordy pedantic wordy blah blah wordy yadda yadda wordy digression. Or perhaps just have an article called "left brained" and put in the popular meaning and say "but it ain't true, see lateralization". Wikipedia is getting ruined by amateur pedants.

Disagree. If you want the "popular" meaning based on usage, consult a dictionary. If you want the currently most popular meaning, consult a web-dictionary. Wikipedia strives to be an encyclopedia that indexes and strives toward organization of the knowledgeable, not the knowledge of the man-in-the-street. In any case, there are an almost infinite number of "popular" conceptions about. Which of those do you propose be used? Yours?
The same argument can be turned around. Since no area of knowledge is ever "closed," the question becomes one of "which definitive factual meaning do you report on?" The bottom line is that people come here for answers; if you already know the answer to a question, why consult an encyclopedia? And if you don't know the answer, chances are that you may come here without a well-formed question in mind. The phrases "left-brain" and "right-brain" are common, not just on the street, and they refer to something different than just talking about lateralization of brain function. Though the wording may be inaccurate and misleading, it's no more so than saying "the sun is rising." Also, try to remember to sign your posts (not to be too left-brained about it). rowley (talk) 16:00, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

## Confusion on lateralization

I have seen it asserted that scientific research has found that mathematics is done with the left brain. But I wonder whether those whom brain researchers observed "doing mathematics" were doing

• what brain researchers consider to be "mathematics", or
• what mathematicians consider to be "mathematics"?

For example, suppose one who has a good handle on the standard first-year calculus course is asked to evaluate the integral

$\int {dx \over (x^2 + 4x + 13)^2}.$

I have a deep dark suspicion that some of those brain researchers think that's what mathematics is (it would be a bit like mistaking copy-editing for English literature). On the other hand, suppose a 10-year-old wonders why it is that when you add two odd numbers you get an even number and when you multiply two odd numbers you get an odd number, and figures it out (all 10-year-olds do things like this, except perhaps those who will grow up to be non-mathematicians). That would in fact be mathematics. Likewise, figuring out how to evaluate the integral above without having seen it done in textbooks, as opposed to following the textbook routines, would be mathematics.

So which is it (if either)? Michael Hardy 23:05, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Have a look at [1]

These results suggest that enhanced interhemispheric interaction is a unique functional characteristic of the mathematically gifted brain.

a bit of intensive websearching reaveals a few interesting gems on the subject which I can't remember off hand. I seem to remember finding a study somewhere showing high numbers of left handed in mathematically gifted people.

As you point out there are two different processes going on in mathematics at different levels. There can be intesive symbolic work which fits with the left hemisphere language processing areas. But there is also a more conceptual side possibly requiring right brain processing.

Good to see this article created. I did quite a bit of research on the subject last year and found a whole bunch of interesting stuff have a look at [2]. --Salix alba (talk) 23:28, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Thank you. Michael Hardy 23:58, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

I am being taken to task for suggesting that it is disrespectful to brain researchers who (and I do know this) use sophisticated mathematics, to suggest that in their assertions about which parts of the brain are involved in mathematics, they are applying a childishly simple notion of what mathematics is. But this article as it is now written does encourage that impression. If the impression is wrong, the article should be changed accordingly. Michael Hardy 00:00, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

No one should take you to task; these are important and pertinent points you raise. You may find it useful to look up acalculia; this is a neurologic finding that can be seen in relative isolation. In clinical practice it refers to difficulty with simple calculation - addition and subtraction, mainly, at least as I have seen it tested. Gerstmann claimed it was related to lesions of the left angular gyrus, but this is probably too specific to be applicable in all cases. -Ikkyu2 23:14, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
Heh. He's referring to my comment here that I left on his user page. As the self-appointed Esperanza bouncer I don't take too kindly to perceived intentional rudeness; I am a big fan of the Meta:Don't be a dick policy. Also, your point on acalculia (an article I've helped write) is dead on, but still not quite the point Mr. Hardy is getting at methinks. Semiconscioustalk 23:36, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
"Perceived intentional rudeness" was only perceived. Nor do I think there was unintentional rudeness; someone just misunderstood what I wrote. However, I will admit that if I had written less hastily, I might have anticipated some ways in which my words could get misunderstood and taken care to phrase it differently.
"Semiconscious" also seems to think I was "talking at" him, but in fact I have paid close attention to his words. Michael Hardy 23:53, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

I'll see if I can add dig up some more references. I'm also concerned about the word Reasoning in

Reasoning functions such as language and mathematics are often lateralized to the left hemisphere of the brain

from my understanding its more symbolic processing and temporal processing in the left. Reasoning is a little to broad a claim. --Salix alba (talk) 00:30, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Salix alba: If you would not mind altering this as well, I would appreciate it. I'm trying to simultaneously do too many real life things to really correct this language right now. See my response below for my thoughts on this article. If you don't get to this in the next few days I should have time next week to dig up better references and resources to more clearly express the notion of laterality of "reasoning" in the brain. Cheers! Semiconscioustalk 19:04, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
No problem I'll wait. This seem an article very much in gestation at the moment. --Salix alba (talk) 19:11, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

## New Scientist 28 Jan 06

Interesting series of articles in this week New Scientist in particular Glad to be Gullible by Clare Wilson. [3].

A few relevant quotes:

• What determins our tendancy to spot patterns and form associations? It turns out that the key factor is the relative dominance of the right and left hemispheres of the brain. ... Most neuroscientists would accept that the left side of the brain is primarily responsable for language and logical analysis, while the right side is more involved in creativity and what might be called lateral thinking - making connections between disprate concepts.
• Several recient studies suggest that people who beleive in the paranomal have greater right brain dominance (See Psychiatry Research:Neuorimaging, vol 100, p139 and Psychopathology, vol 34, p75).
• Brugger and other have shown that there is relativly more right brain activity in people with schizophrenia

Peter Bruger a neroscientist at University Hospital, Zurich. Seems a man to watch. --Salix alba (talk) 15:25, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

We are treading dangerously close to semantics here based upon hearsay rather than fact, so I am going to preface this by providing a definition of mathematics from dictionary.com to ensure we all begin from the same point: math•e•mat•ics n. (used with a sing. verb)

1. The study of the measurement, properties, and relationships of quantities and sets, using numbers and symbols.
2. a science (or group of related sciences) dealing with the logic of quantity and shape and arrangement [syn: math, maths]

[[User:Michael_Hardy] provides one of these two definitions and seems to assign one of them more correctness than the other based upon a non-defined, unreferenced claim of a "mathematicians definition". In fact this notion is furthermore brought forth in Wikipedia's own entry on Mathematics which suggests (without citing any sources) that Another view, held by many mathematicians, is that mathematics is the body of knowledge justified by deductive reasoning, starting from axioms and definitions. Stating that “many people” hold any particular definition of something is extremely vague and potentially unfounded and inaccurate , but I'll run with it.

This article from Science magazine attempts to describe more precise definitions of "mathematics", suggesting it either has linguistic origins or is more visuo-spatial. The crux of the article suggests there are different forms, what they call "exact arithmetic" and "approximate arithmetic". "Exact arithmetic"--"what brain researchers consider to be mathematics'"--is strongly left-lateralized as this article suggests. "Approximate arithmetic"--"what mathematicians consider to be 'mathematics'"--is bilateral.

Again, in deference to civility, I will amend this article to more clearly state these differences despite my intuition that this is a semantic argument that is unnecessarily clouding what is essentially an already poorly-defined notion. Semiconscioustalk 00:29, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Also, thank you both for coming here to edit this page: if nothing else it is enforcing a more precise definition of the terms we are using. If I am coming across as abrasive, I have no intentions other than clarity and I truly appreciate the efforts here. Semiconscioustalk 00:37, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

I was not suggesting anything about "approximate" versus "exact". I was suggesting that

• using mathematical methods developed by others in more-or-less mechanical fashion

involves a different kind of thinking from

• actually developing such methods from scratch, regardless of whether that is done by a mathematician breaking new ground or a fourth-grader figuring out without help why it is that when you multiply two odd numbers you always get an odd number, or figuring out, without having heard it asserted by teachers or textbooks or anyone else, that the sum of the angles of a triangle is always 180 degrees.

Those are two different kinds of thinking. The latter is not "approximate". Michael Hardy 00:55, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

What I seem to be poorly expressing here is that--while I understand your point—it is too ill-defined for an encyclopedic article. You have pointed out to me a place where the language is poorly defined and thus open to many interpretations. Therefore I have altered the language acordingly and provided a citation in support of my change. You can continue arguing about your feelings as to what "mathematics" truly is but that is no longer relevant to this article or this discussion as the word "mathematics" or any of its variants no longer appears in the article in any form (other than in the title of reference I provided).
I further agree with Salix alba that "reasoning" is a poor word choice as well. In my experience, the casual reader on Wikipedia does not like a great deal of technical language. In my attempt at trying to communicate a relatively simple idea to benefit the maximum number of readers, I chose to use simpler terms. This was clearly not an appropriate choice however, as I was unaware at how poorly defined a term such as "mathematics" was. My point being, you may continue arguing this--and I will gladly engage you in an argument of semantics if you would like--however in the context of this article I consider this issue to be resolved. Semiconscioustalk 19:01, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't think imprecision in the definition of "mathematics" is the issue here at all. It is not easy to define "mathematics", and any definition would be subject to endless debate among informed people (and uninformed ones too, I suppose). But I meant that what actual mathematicians and other actual humans actually do, when doing things that everyone would agree is mathematics, is mostly not algorithmic processing. Michael Hardy 01:03, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

A distinction I've always like is betwene Algebra and Geometry. Mathematics can been seen as a process of expressing Geometry in Algebra. Loosly it could be said algebra happens on the left and geometry in the right. (unverified!) --Salix alba (talk) 00:57, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

No -- I don't think so. Algorithmic processing versus creative thinking about mathematics is closer to what I had in mind. The latter is what mathematicians are trying to do; the former is a means. Michael Hardy 01:00, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

## Exact/algorithmic/blah blah

Hardy: Did you read the citation I provided? I was simply using the language they used. You can apply whatever words you'd like to this: it's so nebulously defined that I just really don't care. However I find you use of the phrase "recent discussion tends to confirm my suspicion" in your edit summary amusing, since it was more you talking at me rather than a discussion. :) Semiconscioustalk 00:11, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

I've looked at it enough to know that it provides some context that aids in understanding what they mean by "exact arithmetic" and that context is not (yet, anyway) in the present Wikipedia article. That article and the things you and others have said here do tend to confirm my suspicion. It's just as if they were confusing that sort of thinking with what mathematics actually is. Michael Hardy 21:26, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

## A cap on discussion

Recall that we are editing an assemblage of other people's work here, not conducting original research or trying to form cohesive theories out of disparate publications. Much of the current discussion above would absolutely vanish if the editors would confine themselves to statements developed from and taken directly from source publications, ideally cited by page number and possibly quoted briefly under fair use. -Ikkyu2 19:48, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

Ugh I'm so sick of this. Michael Hardy clearly has strong feelings a his definition of math. After looking over at the Mathematics article, there's a huge issue with defining mathematis; I'm not sure why Michael Hardy is coming in here and making changes that go against a cited article in Science inserting his own definition based upon phrases such as "confirm my suspicion" and "what mathematics actually is". These are opinions sir, and not worthy of countering a good citation. I have conceded several times over that my original statement was unclear, so I feel the citation is a good compromise. But you just keep inserting your own personal views on the matter.
It's clear you feel strongly on this matter, but others feel differently than you and defining mathematics is problematic, so please quit reverting based upon your suspicions. Suspicion does not trump citation. Semiconscioustalk 02:15, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
I did not propose any particular definition of mathematics. I don't know why Semiconscious thinks I did. I edited this article for clarity, not to support particular opinions. The only thing I said about the nature of mathematics consisted of a list of examples, not a definition, and I don't think any of them are controversial. Also, to say that mechanically executing algorithms is not mathematics is also not contrvoersial. Michael Hardy 00:03, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

## Recent Brain Research: Fascinating Implications for Educators

Found a facinating review of litrature on brain research: Recent Brain Research for Teachers & Other Curious Souls By Wenda Sheard, J.D., Ph.D. [www.hoagiesgifted.org/Recent%20Brain%20Research.ppt]

Some of the finding include:

• O’Boyle, M. W., Alexander, J. E., & Benbow, C. P. (1991). Enhanced right hemisphere activation in the mathematically precocious: a preliminary EEG investigation. Brain and Cognition, 17(2): 138-153. EEG patterns of LH activation differ in mathematically precocious youth from that of average math ability students. “Enhanced RH involvement during cognitive processing may be a correlate of mathematically precocity.” Three tasks: gaze at blank slide, judge which of two faces was happier, determine if a word is a noun or verb. (EEG, Six mathematically precocious youth mean age 13.2 SAT-Math mean 670, all right-handed, 10-item questionnaire about which hand used when performing tasks. Control group of 8 right-handed males not precocious at math. Eight EEG sites with cap.)
• Raz, N., Torres, I. J., Spencer, W. D., & Millman, D. (1993). Neuroanatomical correlates of age-sensitive and age- invariant cognitive abilities: An in vivo MRI investigation. Intelligence, 17: 407-422. MRI, brain symmetry, 29 subjects ages 18-78. “The magnitude of leftward hemispheric volume asymmetry significantly and uniquely contributed to explaining the variance in both cognitive measures (non-verbal reasoning and vocabulary).
• Jausovec, N. (1997). Differences in EEG alpha activity between gifted and non-identified individuals: Insights into problem solving. Gifted Child Quarterly, 41: 26-32. EEG. Seventeen gifted (IQ over 130 WISC, 3 male & 17 female) and 17 non-identified solved four problems. Recorded relaxed and problem-solving mental states, and hemispheric symmetry/asymmetry. Gifted more LH (Left Hemisphere activity) when in relaxed state. Non-identified more LH when in problem-solving state.

--Salix alba (talk) 18:48, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

## Split-brain patients: separate article?

I think the section "Split-brain patients" warrants an article. Thoughts?

## Lateralization - help request

I've been given a rough time by someone arguing that some authors say brain lateralization is an old concept. Is that so, or not?

I need to know the current state of belief about brain lateralization, and how sure or accepted it is in neuroscience/cognitive science, with a few more cites or findings.

If there was a controversy or dispute, but it's no longer in question, or it's been clarified, could a section "Controversy" be added to the article to make it clearer?

Last, I've tidied up the references as a way to say thankyou in advance for any help. The footnote from "Goulven" isn't referenced in the article, someone needs to fix it :)

Many thanks!

FT2 (Talk | email) 11:43, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

Like most science the answers tend not to be cut and dried. The field it is still very much a work in progress and as functional imaging techniques improve we will begin to learn more about how verious functions are localised in the brian. Its worth reading the rest of this talk page where there are quite a few references which haven't made it into the main article. Alas I have several other projects on the go so I don't have much time to devote to this article. If you can get hold of Goulven it might provide a good summary of recient research. --Salix alba (talk) 14:48, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
But is the principle of higher cognitive functions being lateralized, pretty much established, or still disputed, or disproven? FT2 (Talk | email) 16:19, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
It depends on the function. I think you are referring to popular ideas of left and right. Sure there is a lot of nonsense spread by marketeers of various products. Early in the 70s it was left and right brain people, then later people talked about getting a balance by various means (certain machines, drugs, activities). Some old psychology techniques used the left right brain research of early neuroscience. They made all sorts of unfounded claims for methods. I think this could be added into a section. I have a book on popular myths. It may be useful to open a section. I will add something provisionally using the information. Please revert it if you think it is wrong. Pacificsun 03:18, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

## Lateralization in pop psych and as extended to cultural metaphors?

I came to this article looking for a critical discussion of the left-brain/right-brain concept as it is misapplied by non-academics (as well, perhaps, as by some people with enough training in psychology to know better). It's common to the point of cliche to say, usually without any scientific evidence, that a particular activity, organization, job, or even a whole person or society is "left brain" or "right brain". I think that this article would benefit by a section or perhaps an external supplemental article on this question.

Here's a citation which gives some examples of what I'm talking about, although it is from the management literature and may be slightly off-target for this article:

Hines, Terence (1987). Left Brain/Right Brain Mythology and Implications for Management and Training. The Academy of Management Review, 12:4, 600-606.

Excellent call - yes please! Seconded. Some expert....? :) FT2 (Talk | email) 23:24, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

I looked it up and it is good information. I also have other citations to add to the section. I added also the pseudoscience category. This is a category that helps readers browse any articles with pseudoscience issues. Its not a list of pseudosciences and it doesn't mean that lateralization of brain functioning is pseudoscience. Have a good weekend Matlee 06:36, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

## copied section

In a test in which split- brain patients had to match a series of household objects, the left brain would match by function while the right would match by appearance. So, when seeing a cake on a plate, the left brain would connect to a picture of a fork and spoon while the right brain would select a picture of a broad-brimmed hat. This evidence appeared to support the idea of a highly modular brain in which, for example, thinking in logical categories was a strictly left hemisphere function while mental imagery and spatial awareness were handled on the right
But, says Joseph Hellige, a psychologist at the University of Southern California, this picture changed dramatically as soon as brain-scanning experiments began to show that both sides of the brain played an active role in such processes. Rather, it seemed to be processing styles that distinguished the two halves. Under the scanner, language turned out to be represented on both sides of the brain, in matching areas of the cortex. Areas on the left dealt with the core aspects of speech such as grammar and word production, while aspects such as intonation and emphasis lit up the right side. In the same way, the right brain proved to be good at working with a general sense of space, while equivalent areas in the left brain fired when someone thought about objects at particular locations.

Copied from http://www.rense.com/general2/rb.htm --Tgr 09:09, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

## InternetHero's edits

User:InternetHero keeps adding the phrase "science of math" to the list of things allegedly done by the left brain. Simple arithmetical calculations are not science. Mathematics, on the other hand, is by some reasonable definitions, science.

In 3rd grade you're told that 5 × 3 is

3 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 3

whereas 3 × 5 is

5 + 5 + 5.

You're also told that not only do those yield the same number, but that that holds generally, with any other numbers.

If you figure out why that pattern holds generally, you're doing mathematics. But if you develop calculation skills without understanding such things, you're not doing mathematics, let alone "science of mathematics". Michael Hardy 20:45, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

The concept of multiplication. Do you understand the brain or just math? Please answer honestly.
Again, I think zinc ions are relevent here. I really don't understand the sloppiness and disregard for basic courtesy in your edits. I will revert from editing untill properly designated, but seriously for almost everyone except overly reformative mathematicians, the ability of arithmetic is in strong relation to math.
Also, are you denying Benjamin Peirce's words: "the science that draws necessary conclusions". InternetHero--23:31, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Please see science. Hi, sorry for not discussing with you 1st, but I didn't know you could.

The broadness of science and it's many sub-catogories derived from it's autonomity/abstractness, were meant to be pertained in respect to the concepts of contrast and/or comparison. As you state, the reasonable/logical properties of mathematics can be attributed to both sides of the corpus.

I've made myself a folly. I got 2 attached and let my perogatives take over my reasoning in respect to putting science in both charts. I got attached to this because of the other edit which entitled: Science of Math - Science of Philosophy.

As Michael pointed out, both sides can bi-laterally comprehend mathematical concepts. I was wrong.

Science can constitute any system of objective knowledge - which in this case, refers to the 'system' of simple-algoritmic proccesses via the system of transducing of stimuli.

1) "simple computations are not "science"; 2) mathematics does not consist of simple algorithmic processing"

i) Wiki - Scientific Method: It is based on gathering observable, empirical, measurable evidence, subject to the principles of reasoning.

ii) Wiki - Mathematics: Is the body of knowledge centered on concepts such as quantity, structure, space, and change, and also the academic discipline that studies them.

When savants draw a picture of a buildings window patterns, they can't process concepts like Base x Height. The can individually count or 'grasp' all the windows as a whole, and draw them in that respect. If this process is not a matter of the concepts bolded above, then I don't know what is. 63.135.9.214/InternetHero 05:01, 19 February (UTC)

## Semantic and Episodic memory

They both are used my the temporal lobe also:

"The medial temporal lobes (near the Sagittal plane that divides left and right cerebral hemispheres) are thought to be involved in episodic/declarative memory. Deep inside the medial temporal lobes, the hippocampi seem to be particularly important for memory function - particularly transference from short to long term memory and control of spatial memory and behavior." [4]

You guys make a conclusion for yourselves, but I think theres something here. For instance, it states above that the Sagittal plane involves episodic memory, yet is involved in semantic memory as a pre-requisite of declarative memory (Declarative: Semantic/Episodic).

[5]

"In 2006, researchers at Lafayette College and Johns Hopkins University in a study found that left-handed men are 15% richer than right-handed men for those who attended college, and 26% richer if they graduated. The wage difference is still unexplainable and does not appear to apply to women.[26]

As well as possible intelligence advantages, being left-handed can also bring about other benefits, including:

Brain hemisphere division of labor: The premise of this theory is that since both speaking and handiwork require fine motor skills, having one hemisphere of the brain do both would be more efficient than having it divided up.[citation needed] Advantage in hand-to-hand combat: Left-handers have a 'surprise' factor in combat, since the majority of the population is right-handed." [6] - User:InternetHero 17:33, 16 April, 2007 (UTC)

## Pseudoscience category?

Hines (1987) states that the research on brain lateralization is valid as a research program, though it has been applied to promote subjects and products far out of the implications of the research. For example, the implications of the research have no bearing on psychological interventions such as EMDR, brain training equipment, or management training. One explanation for being so prone to exaggeration and false application is that the left-right brain dichotomy is an easy-to-understand notion, yet is often grossly oversimplified and misused for promotion in the guise of science. This is often known as right-brain mythology, and is associated with occult notions such as yin/yang, righteous and sinister, and day and night. The research on lateralization of brain functioning is ongoing, and its implications are always tightly delineated, whereas the pseudoscientific applications are exaggerated, and applied to an extremely wide range of situations. Hines, Terence (1987). Left Brain/Right Brain Mythology and Implications for Management and Training. The Academy of Management Review, 12:4, 600–606.
I moved the above section here for discussion. I don't think this article should be in the pseudoscience category. I have removed it. But wanted to open a discussion here and past this paragraph that I cut from the article. Is this really necessary? --Comaze 15:12, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
I think that it's important that such material be here, given that there is a popular misconception about the "left-brain/right-brain" sort of research. There is clearly a real, and proper scientific research program going on regarding the relative strengths and capacities of the cerbral hemispheres (i.e., left for language production, dating back to Broca, or the preponderance of right sided lesions leading to neglect) which serious cognitive neuroscientists recognize as part of their domain. However, that research has largely caught the attention of the general public in a watered down, distorted manner, and I think that it is important to mention this not as a piece of congitive neuroscience, but as a piece of sociology of how scientific findings are dissemenated and used by the general public. I agree, however, that laterlazation of brain function is not pseudoscience, and agree that the cat should be removed. Edhubbard 00:35, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
I think the text needs to be summarised and put in the main body somewhere. We do need to be careful because most functions that are popularly thought of as lateralised are present in both sides of the brain. However, in general the left-hemisphere tends to be dominant for logic, language whereas the right hemishpere tends to be dominant for non-linguistic functions (visualisation, mental rotation, face recognition, etc.)(p.7 Western et al. 2006 "Psychology: Austraian and New Zealand edition" John Wiley). So the popular understanding is not too far off the mark. --Comaze 04:56, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

The reference of Hines definitely says its used in a pseudoscientific way if too broad. I will have a look at the rules for inclusion to the pseudoscience category though. I am working in neuroscience research and there is a big complaint by neuroscientists about people saying pseudoscientific things about hemisphericity. Its big issue and is taught at university level. So neuroscientists and science thinkers like Hines want to say that there is a big pseudoscience problem here in this small area of hemisphericity because of commercial persuasion. But they do not say there is a pseudoscience problem generally in neuroscience. Matlee 05:57, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

I can understand why you want to warn people about the mythology in brain sidedness. There are people running around saying that people are more left or right brained, etc. However, I'm not convinced that this article should be in the pseudoscience category. Nor am I convinced of the reliability or authority of Hines as a source for this article. Besides, the main issues are covered in the lead. It now says something like the popular lateralised functions are actually located on both sides of the brain. --Comaze 06:33, 27 June 2007 (UTC) Perhaps we could have paragraph covering the left-right sidedness myths with appropriate evidence. --Comaze 06:41, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Ok I'll look for more sources but I think the Academy Management Review is good enough. I kept some references from a seminar I went to on this problem and will check them. There were also some more commercial examples who use the pseudoscience ideas listed. I might have a look on the web because I am sure its a getting more popular problem. Do you know of any other area that might use myths? I have some idea but not sure about the sort of range. Matlee 06:49, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. These left/right brain myths pop up in teaching, adult education and management training. Best --Comaze 07:19, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
I think there are two seperate issues here. One is the category tag, which I should stay removed (good spot Comaze), since it seems to apply to the whole article, while it is only this one section that is potentially pseudoscientific. As I noted above, there is some scientific truth to the idea that the hemispheres do slightly different things, but that has been radically oversimplified, to the point of potential misrepresentation in the eyes of the generral public. I think Matlee is right to emphasize the word dominant, which is exactly what is missing from much of the pop-culture discussions of lateralization of brain function. As for the actual content, I think that we should probably use more up-to-date and more cognitive neuroscience references, of which I can suggest three good ones here off the top of my head:
• J. Graham Beaumont (1983). Introduction to Neuropsychology. The Guilford Press. ISBN 0898625157. - This book is a bit dated (he is working on an updated version) but his discussion of the link between lesions of the left or right hemisphere, language and handedness is some of the most detailed and complete in the textbook world.
• Michael S. Gazzaniga, Richard B. Ivry, George R. Mangun (2002). Cognitive Neuroscience, Second Edition. W. W. Norton & Company ISBN 0393977773. - This is the textbook that we used when I was an undergraduate, and will be one of the two texts that I will use (along with Ramachandran's Phantoms in the Brain) when I teach my own class. It includes a seperate chapter on lateralization of brain function (Ch. 9), but also treats lateralization in the appropriate places, along with the relevant topics. They are currently working on a third edition. Note, also that Ivry and Robertson have a more integrated account of how such differences might arise from low-level differences in the spatial and temporal frequencies preferentially treated by the two hemispheres (The Two Sides of Perception, 1997 MIT Press) although this is probably beyond the scope of the current article. Also, of course, there is a thorough treatment of split-brain work here, given that Gazzaniga is first author.
• Jamie Ward (2006). The Student's Guide to Cognitive Neuroscience. Psychology Press. 1841695343. The most recent cognitive neuroscience textbook on the market, and one that is unique in that, it is the only one (so far) to have chapters on topics like the cognitive neuroscience of reading and numerical cognition (Chs. 11 and 12, respectively). It also tends to place more emphasis on neuropsychological methods than does the Gazzaniga text (which is why I would supplement Gazzaniga with Ramachandran). Again, there's no separate chapter on lateralizaition of function, but the lateralizations of these functions are treated within the appropriate contexts.
The important thing to me is that we, in some way, point out this more subtle point. One hemisphere or the other can be dominant for a given function, this varies by handedness, by sex, etc, but at the same time, there is a lot of this type of stuff that has been radically oversimplified in the public literature, since the earliest discoveries of some of these divisions of labor in the human brain. Edhubbard 07:28, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Inferior, terrible, dumb? I don't understand how the evaluative words can be used in the overall category. 72.189.94.109gurbinav