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August 9, 2010 / laffra

Dream == Right Brain Party

We are all taught in school that we have 2 brains, a left brain and a right brain. Both control opposite sides of our bodies, which is weird by itself:

However, they also are two completely independent CPUs running at the same time. This is even weirder. Imagine your head being a computer with two motherboards, one running Windows, and one running MacOS:

Observe how smart the Apple ad people are. They place the PC guy on the left, where he belongs. He always thinks in terms of languages, logic, order, sequential processing. He is analytical, precise, and great in emergencies. The guy on the right however thinks in colors and pictures, uses pattern recognition, is intuitive and creative, thinks holistically, and has high emotional and social intelligence.

Now, let me get to my theory:

A Dream is your right brain having a party

Good. Nice theory. Now, what do you do when you want to support a theory? You carefully construct a google search for supportive pages, while ignoring the unsuppportive ones, of course. Here is a quote I found doing that:

During sleep, our right brain is fully dominant with a small contribution from our dormant left brain

Hmmm. That means that our logical, ordered, and linear-minded left brain is asleep while our out-of-the-box, holistic, creative, parallel thinking right brain is having a blast of a party.

When you are dreaming, your left brain is never completely out of the picture, of course, which is why you sometimes actually know you are having a so-called lucid dream. An intriguing concept enough to formulate a dream in a dream in a dream in a dream movie around:

Dreams are great, but especially when you are young, your right brain can sometimes really get out of control and make a big mess while it is having its parties. We have a medical term for those occasions and we call them nightmares.

Think of it. My theory makes sense. How often do you hear people say:”I get my best ideas in the shower”? Now, analyze that. Showers are soothing and require little intellectual exercize. Your left brain essentially falls asleep. Your right brain takes over and you experience that oh-so welcome “Aha” experience. It is not coincidence that discoveries or inventions are often met with “That’s funny!”. This is really your left brain complimenting your right brain with that creative thought it would never have come up itself. Think of the PC guy being envious of the Mac guy in most Apple commercials.

Another data point. IBM designates each Friday to be “Think Friday”. There is just one rule for those days, and that is: no meetings. Why no meetings? Because meetings produce endorphins and dopamine neurotransmitters of pleasure for exactly our logical left brain. By cancelling all those meetings, we lull the normally dominant left brain to sleep, so that the right part can take over and day-dream a new patent or business proposal.

See: Dilbert Cartoon

Now, next time you come home and explain to your spouse that you did not do any work all day, but spend all your time in meetings, remember that’s really your right brain complaining it was suppressed all day by that tirant, logical left brain. Your right brain will have its revenge tonight with a couple of nice parties.



Leave a Comment
  1. neeroc / Aug 22 2010 1:35 am

    And here I was thinking it was because everyone skipped out early on Fridays!

  2. stef / Apr 21 2011 9:09 pm

    so obviously your left brain was having a blast writing this blog entry… in fact it lulled the right brain into the illusion of having come up with the idea, but you can’t fool me, the apparently creating stream of threads is actually very logical and mechanical, it s much like playing the “association” game where you pick a “next word” based on precise rules and the result is apprently randome and creative. I have always known your left brain is the real power in your skull, even though you keep praising the virtues odf the right…. mmmm com to think of it … “virtues of the right” is actually an oxymoron?

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