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Left Brain-Right Brain is a myth!

Updated: Jul 25, 2021


I have been doing some research lately to put towards my own mindfulness booklet for my clients to help understand the science of how Mindfulness can work. In doing so I have come to learn that the Left Brian-Right Brain model is actually a myth and not phsyiologically true! All this time I have been using my painted illustration to explain the difference between the logical and emotive brain!

Left Brain/Right Brain painted by Julie Raworth @spectrumexpression

Research in the 1960’s by Nobel-Prize-winning Roger Sperry on eplileptic patients found that different parts of the brain specialises in different tasks.

This contributed to the (mythical) left brain-right brain theory that the mathemicians, scientists, engineers etc who dominate the use of logic are more left brained than right brained artists who dominate in abstract creative, emotional expression.

However, to quash what has turned out to be a common myth, fMRIS scanning studies, at the start of the 21st Century by Neurologist Dr Marcuc Raichle, proved brain lateralisation; that each side was a mirror of each other.

Studies from the University of Utah in 2013 on brain lateralisation examined the brains of more than 1,000 people and found no evidence for people having a dominant side of the brain.

But whilst the Left/Right brain model is not anatomically true it still provides Psychologists a model to work with. Psychologists assess if a client is either cognitively or emotionally dominant and how problematic this may be for them. They then work with them to create a more healthy balance.

Regardless of location a healthy brain needs to utilise both cognition and emotion to make sense of their experiences and allow flexibility instead of rigidity in their thinking.

Some may get stuck in their logical ways of processing, such as engineers, scientists etc, thus getting stuck in their negative cycles. Others, such as us creative and sensitive types, may be more prone to becoming overwhelmed by relying on our intuition over logic.

Whilst different parts of our brains have these different functions they are not unique to any one person or to seperate sides of the brain. Everybody has these features which means everybody can connect to both parts in order to allow them to work healthily together.


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