The Dominance Factor: How Knowing Your Dominant Eye, Ear, Brain, Hand and Foot Can Improve Your Learning


Carla Hanniford


Great Ocean Publishers US






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The author, Carla Hannaford, a neuroscientist and teacher built on Dr Paul and Gail Dennison's method of assessing and characterising learning styles. Their dominance profiles identified the lateral dominance of eyes, ears and hands in relation to the dominant brain hemisphere. These patterns of lateral dominance greatly influence the way that information is internally processed and therefore the kinds of learning activities an individual prefers. Hannaford extended this through her own research with thousands of people and discovered many more consequences of lateral dominance adding her observations to the growing body of knowledge as well as the lateral dominance of feet. She believes that an individual's pattern has implications for their relationships, work play, and learning. The eyes, ears, hands and feet bring sensations of the outside world into the brain - thereby being important contributors to learning.

The book suggests that there are 32 different Dominance Profile combinations possible, with two pages given to each profile - one outlining the advantages and disadvantages of each particular profile and the other providing strategies for overcome difficulties and increasing the learning potential. All are based on a mix of gestalt (right) or logic (left) hemispherical preference and physical dominance of the eyes, ears, hands and feet.

An important implication of brain dominance is noticed when we try to learn or take action under stress. Our particular form of "losing the place" is very much dictated by our dominance pattern. The author provides ideas for working through this, but the work, as with anything has to come from the reader. In pulling the applications together, Hannaford concentrates on self development, human relationships and educational contexts.

This book works hard to confirm the neuro-physiological basis of variations in dominance and to express those differences in easy to understand words and illustrations, simplifying without distortion of the scientific facts. Hannaford goes into detail about neural networks and how they play a part in awareness, emotion, learning, and of course survival and satisfaction. It is therefore an easy, interesting read, accessible to the layman as well as a useful reference for the professional. I enjoyed it very much and it provides me with a "handbook" style approach to add the movement and mind-body connection into my work around Brain Dominance. The book is a good starting point for people wanting to learn more about the subject of doiminance.