Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Brain

So today I received a book called "Forty Studies that changed Psychology" by Roger R. Hock. The first study that he looks at is "One Brain or two" which was a study conducted in 1976 by Gazzaniga, M.S. In this study the researchers were wanting to better understand how the two halves of the brain worked. There are extreme cases of seizure in which a surgery is conducted in which the corpus callosum (this is the structure that connects the right and left hemisphere together) is cut to prevent or reduce seizures. So the researchers conducted tests on these patients to see how they would respond.

What they found is that the left hemisphere of the brain is superior to the right for speech while it seemed visual spatial abilities were more proficient with the left hand which means it was tied to the right hemisphere of the brain (you see as the nerves go from some parts of our body they cross over and so the left side is controlled by the right and vice verse).

So what does this all have to do with our characters and understanding them better? This is an extremely small taste of the research that has been conducted on the brain. I think the more that we as authors understand the brain and how it works we will better understand characteristics of our characters that are unique to them. In this study I could then look at a character who has a brain injury to a certain side and understand how it might affect that character. Or perhaps he gets clubbed in the back of the head and goes blind for a day or two (the rear part of our brains is where I sight is processed). By understanding the brain we can better understand how our characters act and respond to the environment.

So what interesting facts have the rest of you learned about the brain? How have you applied it to your writing?


  1. Ohhh . . . I have never thought about this before. I love the idea of involving the physical aspects of the brain in my stories. I think this would be something interesting to consider. One of my books has characters suffer from different symptoms like loss of speech or muscle control. I like the idea of actually tying it into brain functions. Thanks for the idea.

  2. I like the idea of having a character being hit in the head and having real, actual, believable symptoms! Nice job!


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