Thinking Preferences and the Different Parts of the Brain

The human brain is sometimes referred to as one of the organs of the body, but to compare the brain to relatively simple organs such as the heart or lungs is to grossly underestimate its sophistication and importance.

Unlike more simple organs that are capable of being transplanted from one person to another, the brain is so interwoven into the fabric of our bodies that it would arguably be more appropriate to refer to the body as being an organ of the brain as opposed to the other way round.

Although a brain looks like a single mass of jelly, it is in fact made up of several distinct regions. Each of these regions serves two functions; the first is biological in that each region plays a lead role in managing aspects of our physiology; from regulating oxygen levels in the blood to sending the messages to our muscles that enable us to move. The second function is psychological, with each region possessing a distinct style for the way in which it processes information.

When considering the psychological function of the human brain it is possible to divide it into the following areas:

Frontal Lobes

The frontal lobes, or Prefrontal Cortex as this region is more precisely known, is the area of the brain that enables us to reason, be objective and have mastery over our instincts and emotions.

Left Hemisphere

The left hemisphere is where we store the rules we live our lives by. For example, the rules of language are stored in this area of the brain, which is why people who suffer left hemispheric strokes often find speaking difficult.

Being more structured and rules-based, the left hemisphere processes information sequentially, with each step being as consequence of the previous one.

Right Hemisphere

In stark contrast to the left hemisphere, the right hemisphere deals with pattern-matching, ambiguity and new learning. The right hemisphere therefore processes information in a more relational style, by looking for linkages and associations with other memories and stored experiences.

Lower Brain

The term 'Lower Brain' was coined by MyBrain International to describe the collective areas of the Limbic System, Cerebellum and Brain Stem. The reason for grouping these regions is because it is known that collectively they play a lead role in governing our instincts, emotions and our natural and automatic behaviours and functions. For example, areas of the brain stem regulate breathing to ensure that there is sufficient oxygen in the blood stream, movements such as walking and running are controlled by the cerebellum and the limbic system is the seat of our emotions.

Although we are not consciously aware of the information processed by our lower brain, it also receives information from our five senses and provides us with what we term our instincts or gut-feelings.