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Brain Lateralization

Author: Muriel Gerhard
Topics: High School, Anatomy

On the information level, the student will be given a scenario, (see Illustrative Procedure) as a vehicle explore a variety of sources to assess and determine to what extent the two hemispheres of the brain are indeed specialists. Is there a definitive division of labor, is each hemisphere a specialist in dealing solely with specific functions such as language, logic, numerical computation, drawing, creativity and emotions? Are we “left brain only” or “right brain only”? Does the brain accommodate us when parts or sections are injured? Does the brain make adjustments as needed when there are malfunctions? To what extend if the phenomenon of brain lateralization a popular myth or substantiated fact? These will be included as research questions among others in the search for real answers.

In addition, in the student’s search for evidence in the process of reviewing the accounts of neuroscientists, he/she becomes acquainted with what constitutes solid research and the various factors /variables that are essential for valid, reliable data to substantiate or refute various claims.

Problem:

What is brain lateralization? Is it real?

Materials:

  • Texts, studies and articles on brain specialization/lateralization.

Procedure:

  1. Here is your scenario. The science department of your high school has decided to create The Science Journal containing both arm chair research and experimental research undertaken by the students. The journal will be published twice a year, in January and in June. Since there has been a growing interest in the neurosciences, especially in the area of The Brain, you have accepted the task on writing the first article in the series. The question you are addressing is Brain Lateralization, Fact or Fiction?
  2. You may use the answers to the research questions which are provided above to guide you, as an outline for your paper.
  3. You may include illustrations of the brain, it hemispheres, the location of both Boca’s and Wernicke's areas.
  4. Based on your findings, list one or two questions you may wish to explore next year on an experimental basis.
  5. Write your article. Include your bibliography. You may wish to reproduce it plus the illustrations for distribution to your classmates.
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