How the Common Belief of Being Right- or Left-Brained Oversimplifies Brain Function Research

On a recent episode of SciShow, host Hank Green looks into the history of brain function lateralization, how it led to the common belief of people being either left-brained or right-brained and that much of what’s been written is an oversimplification of the facts.

Different sides of the brain are often responsible for different tasks. It’s just that pop psychology has taken the idea a little too far. So it’s time to set the record straight about your brain, and you. It all started way back in the 19th century, when doctors realized that the two halves of the brain might not be identical.They noticed that when someone injured one side of their head, it affected some brain processes, like language or emotion, some more than others. But it wasn’t until 1961 that a neurobiologist named Roger Wolcott Sperry set out to fill in the blanks, along with a graduate student he was working with at the time, Michael Gazzaniga. Sperry’s research over the next few years would completely change the way the neuroscience community thought about the human brain. But in the process, he also accidentally created a myth that would plague popular culture for decades. …Over time, that’s been simplified to logic on the left and creativity on the right.
But simplifying is not a great idea when dealing with something as complicated as a brain.