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The left brain vs. right brain myth - Elizabeth Waters

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The human brain is visibly split into a left and right side. This structure has inspired one of the most pervasive ideas about the brain: that the left side controls logic and the right side controls creativity. And yet, this is a myth, unsupported by scientific evidence. So how did this idea come about, and what does it get wrong? Elizabeth Waters looks into this long held misconception.

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TED-Ed Animation lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Elizabeth Waters
  • Script Editor Emma Bryce
  • Director Daniel Gray
  • Producer Daniel Gray
  • Senior Animator Daniel Gray
  • Compositor Daniel Gray
  • Designer Daniel Gray
  • Art Director Daniel Gray
  • Storyboard Artist Daniel Gray
  • Character Designer Daniel Gray
  • Layout Artist Daniel Gray
  • Composer Sam Baker
  • Associate Producer Jessica Ruby
  • Content Producer Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

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Additional Resources for you to Explore
Want a better understanding of how your body is connected to your brain? Test the touch sensitivity of different body parts and then visualize how much of your brain is used for that part of the body with the homunculus mapper. Visit this site to “map your brain!”

How did the brain become the brain? Evolution of the cortex led to humans and other animals having more complex behaviors. This article: Evolution of the human brain: when bigger is better will give your more insight into how the brain evolved.

Where are we now in our understanding of differences in the left and right side of the brain? The two papers here and here discuss recent research on left-right brain lateralization, including a meta-analysis of research on left brain vs right brain studies and supporting the lateralization of language to the left side of the brain.

Wonder what neuroscientists are studying today? Check out the blogs at Allen Institute for Brain Science and BrainFacts.org.

TED-Ed has more lessons about the brain:
The great brain debate - Ted Altschuler
Could your brain repair itself? - Ralitsa Petrova
How stress affects your brain - Madhumita Murgia
How do drugs affect the brain? - Sara Garofalo

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Create and share a new lesson based on this one.

About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animation lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Elizabeth Waters
  • Script Editor Emma Bryce
  • Director Daniel Gray
  • Producer Daniel Gray
  • Senior Animator Daniel Gray
  • Compositor Daniel Gray
  • Designer Daniel Gray
  • Art Director Daniel Gray
  • Storyboard Artist Daniel Gray
  • Character Designer Daniel Gray
  • Layout Artist Daniel Gray
  • Composer Sam Baker
  • Associate Producer Jessica Ruby
  • Content Producer Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

Share

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