Are You More of a Left Brain or Right Brain Person:  Can You Train Your Brain to be Good at Maths?  

 

Why do so many people find maths difficult to get their head around? Why does it feel so natural to some to process an equation in milliseconds, and yet for others it’s like banging their heads against a wall?Brain Training

We all know that everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, right? One main factor is to do with which side of the brain you use the most – this often determines what your strengths and weaknesses are naturally.

There are varying scientific opinions on the reality of the brain function, but the common conception is as follows.

The right brain functions are:

Creativity

Reading emotions

Processing Music

Intuition

Holistic

Non rational

Spatial

Analogic

Face recognitions

 

The left brain functions are:

Logic

Critical thinking

Memory

Facts

Symbolic

Reasoning

Numbers

Analytic

Rational

The right side of the brain operates the left side of the body, and left brain operates the right side.  Which is why people often say that left handers are more creative because commonly their right brain is dominant.

The brain works out what is the most efficient way of working, and contrary to some beliefs, the left and right do work with each other.  For example, a left hander might throw balls with their right hand, the brain has worked out (in this particular person’s case) that their right hand is dominant in this activity.  However, most left handers will throw with their left hand, and vice versa.

Only around 10% of the population are lefties, but there are many right handers that are predominantly right brainers, which goes to prove that both sides can, and do, work together, even though they are physically two separate entities joined just by a bundle of nerve tissues known as the corpus callosum, which is how the two hemispheres communicate with each other.

When it comes to maths, it doesn’t mean to say that just because you’re left handed, you are no good at maths – that definitely doesn’t have to be true!! There are right-handers who tend to have dominance on their left or right brain – so there is no hard and fast rule.  Left-handers and people who are ambidextrous commonly have more of a symmetrical brain – hence why left-handers or right brainers can also do maths!  So, you may be more of a left brain or right brain, but you can work on your weaker areas to develop them – a bit like exercising and developing muscles in areas you didn’t really use much.  I am left handed (and more of a right brainer), and I now use right handed scissors – I found it very awkward as a child to use my right hand for cutting, but as there were usually only right handed scissors around eventually I got used it, and now it is totally normal.

So you CAN train your brain to be good at maths!!  It may not come to you as easily but with some regular brain workouts, it is possible.

Both sides of the brain are involved, to some extent, in almost all learning activities.  However many learning activities include reading, writing and listening which are left-brain activities – which means a combination of learning methods would benefit, giving your less used side a fair workout.  Whichever side of your brain is less dominant, it would be of some benefit if you worked on it to make your learning an easier ride, so let’s see what can be done about it…

Let’s learn how to use both sides of the brain.

Right brain thinkers try some of these:

  • Learn some of your maths in different ways, DVD’s, online quizzes, physical revision techniques, visualise maths so your brain understands it.
  • Plan your life – set goals and keep track of your progress
  • Play complex games i.e. chess
  • Train your left brain by using numbers, practise maths – this will actually help develop both of hemispheres of your brain.

Left brain thinkers try some of these:

  • Listen to music while reading (this exercises your right brain)
  • Find a creative hobby – this will increase use of your right brain, and help creative problem solving.
  • If you’re a number cruncher, take a breather and do some right brain thinking…imagine, think creatively!
  • Try solving problems visually where possible

Other suggestions that help anyone:

Exercise before or during studying – it increases brain function.  Sitting down decreases brain function by as much as 15 per cent. NB: it doesn’t have to be a workout, it can be light exercise (!) walking around and so on).

Connect both left and right hemispheres by practising some of these: describe a picture or diagram; visualise a written description; convert some text into a picture; turn keywords into a poem.

Using graphs to help decipher information, gets both sides of your brain working – looking at the graph is a right brain activity, however describing patterns in the graph either written or verbally is a left brain activity.

Challenge yourself by doing a maths quiz, you can watch some mini lessons first, then try the quiz to see how much you remember – flex those brain muscles!

Watch a video to boost your brain power – brain exercises to strengthen your left and right brain connection.

Try using some Brain training apps that help you exercise both sides – strengthen your weaknesses and have fun at the same time!

While you’re strengthening your brain mentally, don’t forget that it needs nourishment to ensure it is able to work well – make sure it has enough good food, is hydrated and that it gets plenty of sleep.

Good luck with your brain training!  Which side do you need to exercise?

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