I would like to test people to determine if they have left or right brain dominance.
Introduction: (Initial Observation)
By observing the affects of head trauma and brain injuries, physicians and scientists noticed that each part of the brain is in charge of certain activities. The brain is divided in two hemispheres known as the left brain hemisphere and right brain hemisphere. These two parts in normal people communicate with each other; however, each part has its own abilities and methods.
The differences in activity of brain hemispheres in different people is a factor affecting their personalities, learning abilities, communication skills, feelings, acting and reacting to their environment.
By learning which side of our brain is the dominant side, we will have a better understanding of our abilities and weaknesses. We will be able to adjust ourselves to our environments and take corrective actions when needed.
For example, the left side of the brain processes information in a linear manner. It processes from part to whole. It takes pieces, lines them up, and arranges them in a logical order; then it draws conclusions. The right brain, however, processes from whole to part, holistically. It starts with the answer. It sees the big picture first, not the details. A right-brained student, may have difficulty following a lecture unless he/she is given the big picture first. So it is absolutely necessary for a right-brained person to read an assigned chapter or background information before a lecture or to survey a chapter before reading? If an instructor doesn’t consistently give an overview before he or she begins a lecture, a right brained student will have problem understanding the lecture.
By knowing that you are a right brained person, you may take a corrective action by asking your teacher at the end of each class what the next lecture will be and how you can prepare for it.
In this project, I will device experiments that allows me to determine if a person is right-brained or left-brained.
Before starting any project, you must have a project plan or outline. A project plan is a list of tasks that you want to try in order to do your research. Following is a sample project plan for this project. You may modify this project plan if you need to.
Project plan/ outline:
I will gather information relating to differences between the two brain hemisphere. I will need to know the type of tasks that each hemisphere performs and how these hemispheres are connected to our body parts. I will also need to know how to test the abilities of each hemisphere separately.
I will then perform experiments on a few volunteers to determine the dominant hemisphere of their brain.
I also like to know:
- How does the dominant side of the brain affect peoples decision, thinking, actions, and reactions in certain conditions.
- What percentage of people are right-brained or left-brained.
To gather information about this project, I will consult professionals, books, and the Internet. I will also use references such as encyclopedias.
In the past, I have heard that head trauma in some people paralyzed half of their body. It is quite possible that each brain hemisphere is in charge of one side of our body. If that be the case, I will be able to use left and right body parts to communicate with certain sides of someone’s brain and that will be very helpful for my experiments.
I am also wondering if the ratio of left-brained individuals and right brained individuals is the same in males and females or in certain age groups. This is the part that I also have a hypothesis for. I think that most women are right brained and most men are left-brained. My hypothesis is based on an article by Dr. Carolyn Hopper, about Learning Strategies that describes how right-brained and left-brained people give a direction. He writes:
The left-brained person will say something like “From here, go west three blocks and turn north on Vine Street. Go three or four miles and then turn east onto Broad Street.” The right-brained person will sound something like this: “Turn right (pointing right) by the church over there (pointing again). Then you will pass a McDonalds and a Wal-Mart. At the next light, turn right toward the BP station.”
I have observed that most men give directions the way that he described for left-brained people and most women give direction the way that he described as right-brained.
Find out about brain parts and the role of each part. Read books, magazines or ask professionals who might know in order to learn about the differences between left-brained and right brained people. Find out how you can test a person for being right-brained or left brained. Keep track of where you got your information from.
The following are samples of information that you may find.
The whole brain is composed of two halves
It has been known for over a century that the brain’s two sides (its hemispheres) do different jobs. This notion was originally put forward by Paul Broca in the 1860s. Broca discovered a patient who had a severe speech disorder and was only able to say the word “tan”. In the hospital in which he was a patient this man was even known as “Tan”. Broca discovered that Tan had severe damage (a lesion) to the left side of the frontal lobe of his brain. He concluded that this left frontal region of the brain must play a crucial role in speech production. This region is now known as Broca’s area.
Studying people with a “split brain”
Since Broca, neuroscientists have discovered a great deal about the different jobs performed by each hemisphere of the human brain. This was initially made possible by the study of a particular kind of brain-damaged patient.
Normally, the two sides of the brain work together, continually comparing and processing information which is transferred from one side of the brain to the other by a mass of fibers connecting the two hemispheres, called the corpus callosum. To study the different sides of the brain, scientists have investigated patients whose right and left hemispheres are no longer connected together and therefore work independently of each other. Such ‘split-brain’ patients, of which there are very few in the world, have had their corpus callosum surgically removed, or lesioned, normally as an attempt to cure intractable epilepsy. As a result, their brain is effectively split into two halves – hence the name split-brain patients.
You can quickly identify the right-brained student by the appearance of their notes–pictures, diagrams, scrawled sentences, arrows connecting ideas, and colored ink. (About Learning by Bernice McCarthy)
In Right-Brained Children in a Left-Brained World, the authors tell us, “What (right-brained learners) need isn’t a prescription for pills but a prescription for a different teaching method.”
What do you want to find out? Write a statement that describes what you want to do. Use your observations and questions to write the statement.
The purpose of this project is to determine the ratio of right or left dominant brained people to the total population.
Since left brained and right brained people learn in two different ways, educators and advertisers can use the results of this research to determine how to design their teaching and advertising material so they can be useful to the highest number of people.
When you think you know what variables may be involved, think about ways to change one at a time. If you change more than one at a time, you will not know what variable is causing your observation. Sometimes variables are linked and work together to cause something. At first, try to choose variables that you think act independently of each other.
The independent variable is the test population. Values are the individuals who take our brain hemisphere dominance test.
Dependent variable is the dominant brain hemisphere (Left, Right)
Controlled variables are other environmental factors such as weather condition that may have side effects in our results. Tests are being taken at the same date, time and location.
Based on your gathered information, make an educated guess about what types of things affect the system you are working with. Identifying variables is necessary before you can make a hypothesis.
This is a sample hypothesis:
I hypothesize that most people are left brained.
Design an experiment to test each hypothesis. Make a step-by-step list of what you will do to answer each question. This list is called an experimental procedure. For an experiment to give answers you can trust, it must have a “control.” A control is an additional experimental trial or run. It is a separate experiment, done exactly like the others. The only difference is that no experimental variables are changed. A control is a neutral “reference point” for comparison that allows you to see what changing a variable does by comparing it to not changing anything. Dependable controls are sometimes very hard to develop. They can be the hardest part of a project. Without a control you cannot be sure that changing the variable causes your observations. A series of experiments that includes a control is called a “controlled experiment.”
Taking a brain domination test
Introduction: Depending on being right-brained or left-brained, we have different behaviors and different ways of doing things. We can use some of these indications to determine of someone is right brained or left brained.
This is a test that you can print and take yourself and give to your friends. Print the 32 conditions listed below so you can hand them out.
Every time you read a description or characteristic that applies to you, circle its number on the left. There is no certain number of characteristics you must choose.
- I always wear a watch
- I keep a journal
- I believe there is a right and wrong way to do everything
- I hate following directions
- The expression “Life is just a bowl of cherries” makes no sense to me
- I find that sticking to a schedule is boring
- I’d rather draw someone a map the tell them how to get somewhere
- If I lost something, I’d try to remember where I saw last
- If I don’t know which way to turn, I let my emotions guide me
- I’m pretty good at math
- If I had to assemble something, I’d read the directions first.
- I’m always late getting places
- Some people think I’m psychic
- Setting goals for myself helps keep me from slacking off
- When somebody asks me a question, I turn my head to the left
- If I have a tough decision to make, I write down the pros and the cons
- I’d make a good detective
- I am musically inclined
- If I have a problem, I try to work it out by relating it to one I’ve had in the past
- When I talk, I gesture a lot
- If someone asks me a question, I turn my head to the right
- I believe there are two sides to every story
- I can tell if someone is guilty just by looking at them
- I keep a to do list
- I feel comfortable expressing myself with words
- Before I take a stand on an issue, I get all the facts
- I’ve considered becoming a poet, a politician, an architect, or a dancer
- I lose track of time easily
- If I forgot someone’s name, I’d go through the alphabet until I remembered it
- I like to draw
- When I’m confused, I usually go with my gut instinct
- I have considered becoming a lawyer, journalist, or doctor
Take the test yourself and give it to your classmates and other volunteers.
To minimize the effects of other environmental conditions that may affect your results, take the tests at the same time, the same day and the same place.
How to compile the results?
After you collect the results, compare the circled numbers to the table below.
Next to every number on your paper, write whether it was a L or an R. Count up the number of L’s and R’s. Whichever number is higher represents your dominance. If the numbers are close, that means you use both sides of your brain equally.
Your final Results table may look like this:
|Person’s Name||Sex||Number of Ls||Number of Rs||Conclusion|
|…………||Male/Female||Right/Left brain Dominant|
Source: I found this test idea in http://www.angelfire.com/wi/2brains/test.html . You can find more related information in this website.
Other experiments are also possible. Please see the list of references.
After you gather all your data, you may compile your data to to show how many of the people you tested are left-brained, right brained or balanced brained.
|Number of people|
Make a graph:
Make a bar graph to visually present your final results.
Each graph will have three vertical bars. One for the number of left-brained people, one for the number of right-brained people and one for the number of balanced brained people in that group.
You may also combine your data and make additional graphs.
Materials and Equipment:
Computer, printer, copy machine for preparation of test forms.
Results of Experiment (Observation):
Experiments are often done in series. A series of experiments can be done by changing one variable a different amount each time. A series of experiments is made up of separate experimental “runs.” During each run you make a measurement of how much the variable affected the system under study. For each run, a different amount of change in the variable is used. This produces a different amount of response in the system. You measure this response, or record data, in a table for this purpose. This is considered “raw data” since it has not been processed or interpreted yet. When raw data gets processed mathematically, for example, it becomes results.
Your raw data is not easily comprehendible. You need to use your raw data and do some calculations. For example you may calculate the rate right-brained girls and right-brained boys.
Summary of Results:
Summarize what happened. This can be in the form of a table of processed numerical data, or graphs. It could also be a written statement of what occurred during experiments.
It is from calculations using recorded data that tables and graphs are made. Studying tables and graphs, we can see trends that tell us how different variables cause our observations. Based on these trends, we can draw conclusions about the system under study. These conclusions help us confirm or deny our original hypothesis. Often, mathematical equations can be made from graphs. These equations allow us to predict how a change will affect the system without the need to do additional experiments. Advanced levels of experimental science rely heavily on graphical and mathematical analysis of data. At this level, science becomes even more interesting and powerful.
Using the trends in your experimental data and your experimental observations, try to answer your original questions. Is your hypothesis correct? Now is the time to pull together what happened, and assess the experiments you did.
Related Questions & Answers:
What you have learned may allow you to answer other questions. Many questions are related. Several new questions may have occurred to you while doing experiments. You may now be able to understand or verify things that you discovered when gathering information for the project. Questions lead to more questions, which lead to additional hypothesis that need to be tested.
If you did not observe anything different than what happened with your control, the variable you changed may not affect the system you are investigating. If you did not observe a consistent, reproducible trend in your series of experimental runs there may be experimental errors affecting your results. The first thing to check is how you are making your measurements. Is the measurement method questionable or unreliable? Maybe you are reading a scale incorrectly, or maybe the measuring instrument is working erratically.
If you determine that experimental errors are influencing your results, carefully rethink the design of your experiments. Review each step of the procedure to find sources of potential errors. If possible, have a scientist review the procedure with you. Sometimes the designer of an experiment can miss the obvious.
Visit your local library and find books related to brain and psychology. Note that If you are referring to a book in your science project report, it has to be a book that is accessible to you and you have actually reviewed it. It is not sufficient if you just find a list of books about brain dominance on Amazon.com.