How do you integrate your Left and Right Brain Functions?
In 1981, American Roger Sperry from the California Institute of Technology received the Nobel Prize for his research into the differences between the Left and the Right parts of the brain. He discovered that the Left part of the brain plays a dominant role in the analytical processes, while creative processes mainly take place in the Right part. It is important to realize, however, that this is not a black and white picture, set in stone. In fact, all brain processes take place through the brain as a whole; there is just a general preference in functionality. It is also important to note that the brain is extremely flexible, and different parts are able to take over certain functions, should they become nonfunctional in their normal location due to some kind of brain injury. This is why stroke patients, for instance, who lose their ability to speak properly (normally a left brain function), may completely recover because another part of the brain takes over. Key to this achievement is that the owner of that brain needs to keep asking for that function, so that the brain keeps getting the instruction to make the connections that enable normal speech.
To get some insight into what it would be like to have two hemispheres that are completely disconnected, watch this video about a man who had his Corpus Callosum (the part that connects the two brain halves) removed.
So, what is whole Brain Integration? Whole brain integration means using the Left and the Right side of the brain together, which improves the use of your brain by a factor 5-10!.
There are several activities that have proven to stimulate the Right and the Left parts of the brain simultaneously, like singing, playing an instrument and writing. Mind mapping, an exercise in which you structure a certain project with a tree-like drawing and use words and pictures to describe each part of the project, is also a way to use both parts of the brain simultaneously and therefore can be a very powerful tool for creation and planning. The best example we have found in the market is Tony Buzan's Mind mapping tool.
watch this short introduction here:
Some Whole Brain Techniques
Opposite functions Spend some time doing everything with your non-dominant hand. Every time you break a dominance habit, you create new neural pathways and give the brain more options. It becomes easier to think in new ways throughout your day, and easier to adapt, respond and create in high pressure environments.
Colored markers and unlined paper Instead of using lined legal paper and a pen in meetings, brainstorming sessions or any other work-related function, try use unlined paper and colored markers. Without exception, once you get used to the exhilarating freedom of working "outside the lines" and the new ideas it will produce, you won't go back to being mentally boxed in. Lines have a subconscious effect on us which keeps the brain locked in habitual thought patterns. By removing the lines, we free the brain to think multi-dimensionally instead of just linearly.
Sensory Immersion Consciously engage all of your senses. Instead of coming to a situation from thinking alone, approach it from your senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch as well. The more senses you bring into a creative process, the more you expand your thinking and awareness, and the more information you receive.
Embodiment Become the project, problem, vision, product and act from its point of view. New ideas will flood your mind. This is easy to prove. First, try imagining new features to add to any product in a certain time period, i.e. five minutes. You will come up with a number of features. Then, pretend you actually are the product - become the product -and start talking from it, again for five minutes. You will learn exponentially more about what it "needs." The act of embodying a product, process, concept, etc. will give you new insights and awareness into the product, and therefore, potential new features, that you cannot get from just thinking about it.
Image Streaming This technique was developed by pioneering brain researcher Dr. Win Wenger. One of the best integration techniques out there, it has infinite variations. You can read about it in detail in his book, The Einstein Factor, or go to the Image streaming section on his website and search for the shorter version. It is based on the concept of integrating words and images in real time which increases intelligence and the capacity to think and perceive in new ways.
Wach this example of children that have right brain preference - or maybe better, have integrated both effectively.