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Your Dominant Side

based on 1 rating
Author: Muriel Gerhard
Topics: High School, Anatomy

Grade Level: 10th; Type: Biology/Neuroscience

Objective:

To determine which your dominant side is. Does this dominance extend to your arms, legs, hands, ears, eyes?

Research Questions:

  • What is the function of the brain?
  • What are the parts of the brain and what is the function of each part?
  • What are the hemispheres of the brain and their functions?
  • What is the corpus callosum?
  • How do the two hemispheres complement each other?
  • What are some of the characteristics of right brain dominant individuals? 
  • What are some of the characteristics of left brain dominant individuals?
  • What is epilepsy and what is the connection to the Split Brain Studies?
  • What is the connection between handedness and brain lateralization?
  • What percentage of the population is left handed?
  • What do you suppose all of the following have in common, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Connors, Marilyn Monroe and Angelina Jolie?
  • What does research tell us about “changing or reversing handedness? If you started out writing with your left hand and were compelled to switch over to your right? Any reactions, complications? (This may be a new science project in the near future.)

On the information level, the student will become acquainted with the current research on hemispheric brain dominance. The questions being addressed in this project include the following: Which side of the subject`s brain is more dominant than the other? Does this dominance extend to the eyes, the ears, and the feet? What does the current research in the neurosciences tell us? In order to begin this investigation, the student becomes acquainted with basic information on the brain, its structures and functions and its mal function in the case of epilepsy and the early work to counter epileptic attacks. This leads to the work of Dr. Roger Sperry and the famous Split Brain studies. In the process of this investigation, the student takes on the role of a neuroscientist, testing his/her subjects to determine hemispheric dominance and is introduced to the exciting world of The Brain.

As for the methodology of this project, this science fair project also serves to acquaint students with the essential processes of sciencing, of researching techniques and learning about the importance of identifying dependent and independent variables, of proper and accurate data collection, of pictorial and or graphic presentation of data and of being able to make better judgments as to the validity and reliability of their findings. They become aware of the importance of the size of the sample population and whether the sample was truly representative of the group they are investigating. They learn about what researchers do and begin to replicate the process.   In the process of researching, they become not only researchers but less gullible and better judges of the validity and reliability of research studies.

Materials:

Subjects and the Hemispheric Dominance Test available at Intelegen Inc. at http://web-us.com/brain dominance.htm and is free.

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