Which Side of the Brain Draws the Best?

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Author: Muriel Gerhard



Middle School

Difficulty of Project



$5 or less

Safety Issues


Material Availability

Free materials are available to be reproduced on the internet.   Writing on the Right Side of Your Brain by Dr. Betty Edwards is an excellent resource and is available at any public library.

Approximate Time Required to Complete the Project

One to two weeks.   This includes collection, recording and analysis of data, summary of results and completion of bibliography.


To design and conduct an experiment to determine whether drawing with the right or with the left side of your brain will produce a “better” picture. Better is defined as a picture with more accurate detail which more closely resembles the original as determined by a comparison with the right and the left brain products.

Materials and Equipment Required

  • Drawing paper
  • Number 2 pencils
  • Two sketches from which to make copies
  • Five to ten participants of approximately the same age and gender


Background Information

On the information level, this experiment serves to acquaint students with current information in the neurosciences on the specific functions of the right and left hemispheres of our brain. Recent data substantiates that the left brain is the verbal brain, labeling and naming objects while the right brain focuses on space relationships, assessing spatial relationships, line and angle formations as well as what is viewed as positive and negative space. Based on this information, when we are engaged in drawing or copying sketches, the approach taken will be determined by which hemisphere we choose to use. It we use the right; we will focus on spatial relationships, lines, curves and angles. If we choose the left hemisphere, we will be focusing on drawing objects, faces, noses as opposed to following lines, angles and outlining spaces. This is the crux of this experiment.  The question is whether the use of the right or the left brain will produce the better product, one more detailed and a better replica of the original drawing.

On the level of the  process of experimenting, this science fair project serves to acquaint students with the essential processes of sciencing such as the importance of  clearly defining the problem to be explored,  of stating the hypotheses and the rationale for the hypothesis, of demonstrating an understanding the use of a control, of identifying dependent and independent variables, of data collection, of pictorial and graphic presentation of data and of being able to make better judgments as to the validity and reliability of their findings.  They take on the role of scientists and in the process they learn to act as one.

Research Terms

  • Neuroscience
  • Cerebral Cortex
  • Right  Brain
  • Left Brain
  • Split Brain
  • Lateralization
  • Cognition
  • Affect

Research Questions

  • What does research in the neurosciences tell us about the specific functions of the right and left brain hemispheres?
  • What functions does each hemisphere serve?
  • What is meant by the split brain phenomenon?
  • What have we learned as a result of split brain surgery?
  • How does research on hemispheric functions fit with drawing on the right or the left side of the brain?
  • What contributions and applications of brain research has Dr. Betty Edwards made to the field of art?
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